Lindsay Lohan pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of stealing a $2,500 necklace, then received a stern warning from her new judge.
“You’re in a different situation now with a felony,” said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz, who threatened to send her straight to jail without bail if she violated the law while awaiting trial.
“You’re no different than anyone else,” he added. “So please, don’t push your luck.”
He asked her if she understood what he was saying.
“Yes, sir,” she answered.
Lohan, 24, wore a skin-tight short white dress to her court appearance for allegedly walking off with the necklace Jan. 22 from a Venice, Calif., jewelry store just weeks after completing court-ordered rehab in a DUI case.
Lohan, who denies the theft and claims she thought she was allowed to borrow the jewelry, was given $40,000 bail for the theft charge and allegedly violating her probation in the DUI case.
The actress, who appeared healthy and calm, was led away – but not handcuffed – after the 10-minute hearing to be booked by sheriff’s deputies. A bail bondsman stood by to immediately get Lohan released.
Her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley indicated to the judge that Lohan sought to negotiate a plea deal. No details were revealed in court.
Holley added that she recently spoke to Lohan’s probation officer, who said the actress has been in compliance with probation, has not failed any drug tests and is “a good probationer.”
Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers retorted to the judge: “A good probationer doesn’t pick up a new case.”
Meyers also asked the judge to forbid Lohan from contacting the owners of the jewelry store in question because they had recently “received some flowers” apparently from Lohan’s camp, causing them alarm.
The judge granted the request and told the actress not to reach out to them.
The next hearing is set for Feb. 23.