Experts: Court-Prone Lindsay Lohan Costing Taxpayers Millions
March 21, 2011
May 24: Lindsay Lohan sits in the courtroom during her hearing in Beverly Hills.
Lindsay Lohan has been in more courtrooms the past four years than she has been in movies.
The troubled actress was first arrested in May 2007 on a misdemeanor drunk driving charge in Beverly Hills, then in July was arrested again in Santa Monica and charged with drunk driving, cocaine possession and driving with a suspended license, for which she pleaded guilty the following month.
In November, Lohan surrendered to a Los Angeles County Jail, and then in 2009 her probation was extended another year because she failed to complete a mandatory alcohol counseling program.
Cut to 2010 and Lohan’s legal jeopardy deepened as she violated the terms of her probation by failing to appear in court and missing the alcohol counseling classes, which then resulted in her serving time at Lynwood Correctional Facility in July. A few weeks later, the “Mean Girls” star failed a drug test and was handcuffed and taken to the slammer before posting bail that night, and during her court-enforced rehab stay at Betty Ford the 24-year-old was accused of allegedly tussling with a staffer at the clinic.
Then earlier this year, drama-prone Lohan was charged with felony grand theft by the Los Angeles County District Attorney for allegedly stealing a necklace from a Venice jewelry store.
Factoring in all the court dates, court postponements (like when she was partying in Cannes and couldn’t get back to the U.S for a hearing), arraignments, judge and prosecutor fees, jail visits (she has had three stints in the slammer – 84 minutes, two weeks and one evening before posting bail, mug shots (four and counting), probation officers, random drug testing resources, SCRAM bracelets (these generally cost over $100 to install and have a daily fee of about $18) and LAPD security to and from court, how much is Lohan costing the taxpayer?
“It has been four years, and we’re talking about quite a few county law enforcement professionals, so it is probably safe to say several million dollars,” California-based civil law trial attorney David Wohl told FOX411’s Pop Tarts.
And given that Lohan has thus far refused to enter into a plea deal regarding the theft incident, her current theft case could potentially go to trial, costing Californians much more.
“Each court hearing can take hours of prosecutorial time, judicial time and judicial staff such as a court clerk, stenographer and bailiffs in the courtroom protecting Lindsay. If only 100 hours total was spent on her first DUI case out of the Beverly Hills Courthouse, you’re talking about a minimum of $10,000 just in prosecutorial/attorney time alone. Multiply that by the number of cases she has and you'll see that the Lohan case is costing this state tens of thousands of dollars," explained Criminal Defense Attorney RJ Manuelian. "The irony is, that the further Ms. Lohan is prosecuted ‘in the interest of justice,’ injustice is done to our state economy."
"What makes matters worse is that Ms. Lohan is still facing a possible probation violation from Judge Fox's court in Beverly Hills," Manuelian said. "If she goes to jail, that adds more financial burden to our state's financial crisesandit burdens our already overcrowded jails. In the end – more money we don't have. Scott Peterson's trial cost the state over $3 million, and Lohan’s latest case certainly has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of dollars should it go to trial.”
Hollywood publicist Michael Sands, who has worked on a number of celebrity-related legal cases, also said Lohan has cost Los Angeles county well over one million dollars to date.
“If the stolen necklace case goes to trial, it will cost anywhere from $500,000 and up. In just one day with one court appearance, Lindsay could blow over $100,000 and we all have to foot the bill,” Sands said. “The legal fees for the prosecutors are totally exorbitant, and then to have to have police dignitary forces take her to court and guard her costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars per hour. She is a real tax burden to the state.”
Wohl did the raise the point that those involved in Lohan’s sentencing are only doing their jobs – and if it isn’t her they’re dealing with, it is someone else.
“Most of the people involved are just doing their jobs – whether they're dealing with Lilo or any other criminal, so they don't cost the taxpayers any extra, with the exception of overtime pay for the countless cops who have to provide courthouse security for her court appearances,” Wohl said. “The real inconvenience to taxpayers could come if her cases go to trial. Hundreds – perhaps more – will be dragged from their jobs to the courthouse to try and find 12 jurors who haven't been exposed to the details of Lohan's alleged ‘one woman crime wave.’ While the current Judge has all but sentenced her to jail, the reality is that no one has heard the evidence in her case. If she decides to have a trial, the reality is that LA could become host to the biggest three ring legal circus since OJ.”
- Deidre Behar contributed to this report.
June 2021 May 2021 April 2021 March 2021 February 2021 January 2021 December 2020 November 2020 October 2020 September 2020 August 2020 July 2020 June 2020 May 2020 April 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008