Lindsay Lohan already knows what jail is like, but unlike the 84 minutes of a one-day sentence she served on her 2007 DUI conviction, this time the troubled actress is looking at a minimum of 23 days in light of the 90-day sentence imposed on her by Judge Marsha Revel on Tuesday for probation violations.
A panel of legal experts contacted by MTV News said the sentence is serious business and it will be very hard on the 5-foot-5, 105-pound actress but all agreed that she won’t be in any physical danger.
“It will be the same as it was with Paris [Hilton],” said New York attorney Scott Leemon, whose client list includes Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Young Jeezy and Tony Yayo. “She’ll have her own private cell in segregation, and she will be protected. It won’t be easy, but she won’t be put in general population. They don’t want the liability if someone does something to her.”
At the very least, Leemon predicted the jail stint — Lohan will likely only serve 25 percent of her 90-day stretch due to severe overcrowding in L.A. County jails — could help scare the troubled actress straight.
“She’s definitely more scared than she’s ever been in her life this morning,” said Leemon, who is not involved in the case but has been following it in the news. “She gets the point. The question is: What will she do about it? And did she get the point before she went to court yesterday? Hopefully this will wake her up, because she’s got a rough six months ahead of her.”
Having a celebrity like Lohan in their jail is a bit of a nightmare for the L.A. County authorities, because protecting a high-profile prisoner from any harm is a major headache, said Stacey Richman, who knows about that particular situation considering her client, Lil Wayne, is currently in New York’s Rikers Island prison doing a one-year stretch on a gun charge.
“It’s going to be tremendously unpleasant for her, like it is for Wayne. … She won’t enjoy this in the least,” Richman said. “It’s not in the interest of any state authority to let anything happen to her … but it seems to me that she’s in crisis, and this could be a good thing.”
The jail time is actually not the hardest part of what Lohan will face over the next six months, according to veteran attorney Benjamin Brafman, who was part of the legal team defending the late Michael Jackson in the singer’s 2004 child-molestation trial and who helped keep Diddy out of jail in his 2001 Club New York gun case.
“The jail part is the most humiliating part, and it interferes with her career,” Brafman said. “But that will be short and over, and it will pass rather quickly. The real difficult part comes after jail, where she faces the demons that sent her to jail to begin with.”
Brafman also didn’t think Lohan would be in any physical danger while behind bars, because the Los Angeles Police Department is used to dealing with prisoners of note who require segregation and protection. “It’s not prison, but she will have to obey the rules, which will be a harsh reality.”
Lohan’s attorney could not be reached for comment at press time.