First the good news: sure, her arrival was a little on the nick-of-time side, but at least Lindsay Lohan was dressed a little more conservatively than usual for her felony grand theft hearing this morning.
Now the funny news: classy as always, on his way out of the courthouse, Michael Lohan gave the finger to Dina (he claims he was only making the sign of the cross as part of a prayer, but draw your own conclusions).
And finally the bad news: Lindsay's fate—at least as it pertains to her alleged heist of a $2,500 necklace—is yet to be determined. But it will almost certainly include jail time.
That is, if Lindsay does one thing…
And decides to settle the case in Judge Keith Schwartz's court.
Lohan pleaded not guilty to the felony grand theft charge earlier this month. Today, the prosecution handed over the store's potentially damning security footage to Lohan's lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, as well as made Lindsay's attorney an offer for a plea deal which was not made public.
Which, if accepted, will include jail time. Period.
"There are a couple thing you need to understand so there are absolutely no misunderstandings," Schwartz told Lindsay. "I'm just going to tell you a couple of the things if the case settles in this court will happen.
"This case does involve jail time. Period. If you plead in front of me, if this case is resolved in front of me, you are going to jail. Period. There may be an issue as to the amount of time you go, of course…but if the case settles here, I don't want you under any apprehension. You will go to jail."
Should Lindsay opt not to resolve the case in court—by pleading either no contest or guilty to the charge—the case will move on to another judge, who will also decide the issue of possible probation violation.
"I don't want you to be a repeat offender in the system," he said. "I want you to get on with your life, I want you to reach whatever potential you have and move on and stop causing yourself, your family any additional stress."
He said that if the case is resolved in his courtroom, he would impose additional psychological components to her probation, such as required therapy, to help her cope with the stress of her life.
"If the case settle here, you need to get a reliable, trustworthy and reasonable sponsor unrelated to any of your family members," he said. "I need somebody unrelated to you who is not moved by anything other than seeing you succeed."
The sponsor, he said, will "help you stay away from substance abuse issues, help you stay away from alcohol issues, help you get back on track and hopefully reach the potential that you have."
After submitting a "Yes, your honor," to his question of whether she understood, Lohan could also be heard asking her attorney, "Did you tell him I have a sponsor?"
"The D.A.'s office has already laid out very clearly their position on this case," Schwartz said. "I can't be specific, but I have indicated to your attorney that a lot of the things she has requested are reasonable. The next you see me, it's either to settle this case or it's not.
"You will be treated exactly the same as anyone else, no better, no worse. That's very important to me."
After the hearing, the only party who stayed around long enough to speak to the press was (wait for it....) Michael Lohan, who seemed perfectly content in blaming Dina, or at least his relationship with her, on Lindsay's alleged misbehavior.
"I think the judge was fair," he said. "Dina and I can't seem to get on the same page...Lindsay is never going to get better if parents can't stop using children as pawns."
As for his daughter, "I don't see Lindsay as a criminal. This is the result of her addiction.
"I hate to use the saying that she's on a path of recovery, but she is," he went on. "She goes to AA all the time. She's always very clear-eyed and very focused. I can' t tell you how proud I am of her, but at the same time I'm saddened so much."
Lindsay is due back in court March 10.
—Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum
(Originally published on Feb. 23, 2011 at 9:56 a.m. PT)