Lindsay Lohan Could Dodge Felony Charges Today

At a hearing Friday, the troubled actress could get her felony theft charges reduced to a misdemeanor

After rejecting a plea deal offered by Los Angeles prosecutors that would have included jail time, scandal-ridden actress Lindsay Lohan goes to her preliminary hearing Friday to declare herself innocent of stealing a $2,500 necklace.

Lindsay Lohan's lawyer, Shawn Holley, has already moved to get the charges reduced from felony to misdemeanor, based on the price of the necklace (it was allegedly only worth $800-$1,000, not the $2,500 first reported) -- and today's preliminary hearing could seal the deal. Radar Online reports that a source close to the case says: "Judge (Stephanie) Sautner has indicated to the DA and Lindsay's attorney that there is a very good chance that at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing she will reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor."

TMZ reports that a main reason this might occur is that under the California Penal Code, Section 17(b), "the judge has the ability to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor at the end of a preliminary hearing if the offense is relatively minor and the defendant is not a hardened criminal with a long record." Judge Stephanie Sautner has repeatedly exercised this ability, and may choose to do so in the Lohan case.

However, a source close to Lohan's team tells Radar that even if the charges are reduced, Lohan still may face jail time. "If Lindsay is ordered to stand trial, even on a misdemeanor, she will still be automatically found in violation of her DUI probation."

The preliminary hearing begins today at 10:00 a.m. PST.

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