Why Lindsay Lohan Isn't Getting Special Treatment From the Law...Mostly

For the most part, LiLo hasn't gotten royal treatment during her long criminal history

By Leslie Gornstein Nov 30, 2012 1:30 PMTags
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So Lindsay Lohan gets arrested—again. When will the law stop treating her with kid gloves and start cracking down on her?
—Li'l Killa, via Twitter

I've run LiLo's past and current legal japes through my patented Scientific Ask Anything Analysis Machine (SCAAAM) and can tell you, once and for all, whether she's gotten special treatment from cops and prosecutors.

Can you guess the answer?

The answer: Mostly not. With one or two possible exceptions.

Lilo's criminal history goes back 5 years. You can see the complete timeline here, but in general, we're looking at house arrests, probations, court-ordered education programs, community service, rehab—and very brief jail stints.

However, defense attorney David Diamond tells me, most of the sentences imposed upon Lohan appear to be pretty typical.

"A lot is made about inmates' early releases from custody," Diamond tells me. "I remember when Paris Hilton got released from jail. The media hopped all over that. But had they been really diligent, they'd know that she actually did a little more time than the average female inmate, probably because of her celebrity status.

"So Lindsay's 2011 release from jail to house arrest is pretty normal. Our county jail systems are horrible and so overcrowded that a woman doing about 10 percent of her jail time is not outside the norm."

Ditto with Lindsay's treatment after her probation was revoked for failing to perform community service that same year.

"She seemed to be treated like most clients I have seen in the court system," Diamond observes.

So what about those exceptions? Well, the most notable seems to have happened last year. Diamond points to April 2011, when Lohan managed to reduce a charge stemming from that now-infamous necklace-theft accusation. The charge was knocked down from a felony to a misdemeanor charge. (Lohan is on informal probation stemming from the alleged incident.)

"I was actually surprised by the judge's decision on that," Diamond says. "I have had clients with less of a criminal record where the felony charge sticks."

Now that Lohan is once again in trouble with the law—on two coasts, at that—it is possible that some of the actress's past troubles could come back to haunt her.

"As long as the statute of limitations hasn't run out in a criminal case, that case can always be reactivated, assuming that double-jeopardy isn't involved," Diamond tells me.