Lindsay Lohan has been slapped with a felony grand theft charge for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace, but prosecutors will have a difficult time proving criminal intent
In fact the case smacks of grandstanding by the prosecutors as part of a running feud with the wayward actress.
Lohan’s lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, has already strenuously denied the allegation.
Even though video evidence exists showing Lohan with the necklace, it does not prove, alone, that Lohan intended to steal the necklace.
That leaves wide berth for Holley to raise reasonable doubts that Lohan, 24, intended to steal the necklace when she went into the store.
Already snippets of Lohan’s defense strategy has emerged.
The “Mean Girls” actress is likely to argue that she was either unaware she was wearing the tiny necklace when she left the store, or she was under the impression that the store had loaned it to her on consignment.
Because one her assistants returned the necklace, the groundwork has been laid to argue that Lohan thought her assistant had arranged the consignment and did not know that the store considered the necklace stolen.
Indeed, the stakes are high in the case. Lohan could face up to three years in jail if convicted. She could also face additional jail time for violating her parole in her 2007 DUI conviction.
Although reports on TMZ claimed that prosecutors were moved to charge her because of other incidents in which Lohan allegedly took high-priced merchandise without permission, she has never been prosecuted for theft.
Therefore, any information about prior incidents will likely be inadmissible in a criminal trial.
Police and prosecutors claim Lohan took the necklace from a store in Venice, Calif., on Jan. 22.
Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz will also rule on whether Lohan violated the terms of her DUI probation.