• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Lawyer: Lohan can buy way out of theft probe

February 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Prosecutors have not said whether or not Lindsay Lohan will be charged in her latest run-in with the law. The actress is at the center of a jewelry theft investigation involving a high-priced necklace.

One lawyer said Lohan would already be in jail if it wasn't for her celebrity status.

Lindsay Lohan has played many roles in her young career, but suspected jewel thief is the kind of part that will not help her career. Accused of stealing a $2,500 necklace, Lohan now finds herself waiting to see if the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office will file grand theft charges against her.

"Any of us would be in jail by now," said defense attorney George Bird.

Bird said Lohan is getting preferential treatment, because of her celebrity status. If Lohan does end up charged with felony theft, Bird said add-on charges for probation violations, could be a five-year prison sentence. Most first-time offenders would only see some jail time. But Lohan, Bird said, runs a good chance of avoiding any kind of trouble in the necklace case.

"Since the victim got their merchandise back, this all may go away," said Bird.

Los Angeles police officers said after they obtained a search warrant to go through Lohans' home, one of her representatives turned the necklace into police. Bird said Lohan could legally write the jewelry store owners a check and ask them not to press charges.

Because this is a felony case, the district attorney could still go ahead and prosecute, but Bird said prosecutors generally follow the lead of the victims.

Judge Elden Fox told Lohan last year that he would throw her back in jail if she violated her probation. But if the district attorney goes ahead and files grand theft charges against Lohan, the case would be moved to the LAX Courthouse and Fox would lose his hold on Lohans' fate.