Lindsay Lohan expected to serve jail term at home

LOS ANGELES Wed May 11, 2011 4:45pm EDT

Lindsay Lohan arrives for a hearing at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles April 22, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Lindsay Lohan arrives for a hearing at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles April 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Lindsay Lohan was sentenced on Wednesday to four months in jail after changing her plea and effectively admitting stealing a $2,500 gold necklace from a Los Angeles store.

But Lohan, who was not in court on Wednesday, will likely serve just 16-17 days of her sentence -- most likely under house arrest, officials said.

"I am glad to be able to put this past me and move on with my life and my career," Lohan said in a statement. "I support the judge's decision and hold myself accountable for being in this situation."

Lohan's lawyer entered a no contest plea on behalf of the actress to a reduced misdemeanor theft charge. Under California law, a no contest plea is an admission of guilt.

Lohan, 24, who has been in and out of jail and drug rehab for almost four years, had previously insisted she was not guilty of deliberately walking out of a store in January without paying for the necklace she was wearing.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner sentenced the "Mean Girls" actress to 120 days behind bars, 480 hours community service and ordered her to report to jail on or before June 17.

Sautner last month had imposed the same sentence on Lohan for violating her probation, and the two terms will run concurrently.

However, Lohan's lawyer said the actress had applied to serve her sentence at home under a house arrest or electronic monitoring program designed to combat overcrowding in Los Angeles jails.

"As they would with any other defendant with a similar sentence and a minimal criminal history, the Sheriff's Department will determine whether she is eligible for electronic monitoring and early release," attorney Shawn Holley told reporters after the hearing.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore, said that under programs for good behavior and because of overcrowding and budget constraints, Lohan would likely end up serving 16-17 days at home.

Whitmore denied that Lohan was getting special treatment because she was a celebrity. "Absolutely not. This is a lower level crime and it is certainly non-violent. It appears that a person like Ms Lohan would be eligible."

Lohan was also ordered to complete psychological counseling and an anti-shoplifting program. "I don't think the root of her problems is substance abuse. I think she has other problems for which she self medicates," Judge Sautner said.

Lohan started her community service last week by working at a women's shelter in Los Angeles.

But Sautner said she could not undertake her community service at the same time as being under house arrest.

"I only hope that she benefits from seeing how other people's lives can become when you lose a couple months pay check," Sautner added.

Lohan's once promising Hollywood career has been stalled since a 2007 drunk driving and cocaine possession arrest, five trips to rehab, and at least three brief stints in jail.

However last month, she landed her first part in a major movie for several years in an upcoming feature about the New York Gotti crime family, alongside actors John Travolta and Al Pacino. Filming is due to start later this year.

(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)