A legal technicality looks like it could save Lindsay Lohan from going to jail for her alleged probation violation. Judge Stephanie Sautner, who is slated to preside over Lindsay’s felony grand theft case, will hold a preliminary hearing next month, in which prosecutors will present evidence she allegedly stole a necklace from a Venice jewelry store.
In California, prosecutors often don’t present witnesses in preliminary hearings – its usually just police officers who testify about what the witnesses told them.
But here is the catch - if prosecutor Danette Meyers uses police officer testimony to make her case then that cannot be used to determine if Lindsay violated her probation, because it’s hearsay. Under California law, judge’s are not permitted to use hearsay involving key witnesses to violate a person’s probation.
So the bottom line is it’s likely Judge Sautner will not make a decision on whether Lindsay goes to jail for her probation violation until after the trial.
But there is some potential bad news as well – even if Lindsay is found not guilty at trial, Judge Sautner could still violate her probation and send her to jail. The standard for determining a probation violation is merely probable cause which is much less than the standard used to convict someone of a crime which is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Of course we are dealing with Los Angeles where Celebrity Justice usually prevails!
Image credit to WENN