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Attorney says he expects Lindsay Lohan will be exonerated in NYC nightclub assault case


With a jacket covering her head, Lindsay Lohan is escorted from the 10th Precinct police station,Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in New York after being charged for allegedly striking a woman at a nightclub. Police say Lohan was arrested at 4 a.m. and charged with third-degree assault. They say she got into the argument with another woman at Club Avenue in Manhattan and struck the woman in face with her hand. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Lindsay Lohan was charged Thursday with crimes in New York and Los Angeles, marking her latest setbacks as she tries to revive her career and avoid a return to jail.

Prosecutors in Santa Monica charged Lohan with three misdemeanours related to a June accident. Hours earlier, the actress was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, also a misdemeanour, after a woman was punched in a New York City nightclub.

The California charges came about six months after Lohan's Porsche crashed into the back of a dump truck. She told police her assistant was driving, but detectives now believe the actress was behind the wheel as she headed to a movie set.

In that case, Lohan, 26, was charged with lying to police, reckless driving and obstructing a police officer from performing duties.

Lohan's California attorney, Shawn Holley, said she could not comment on the crash-related charges.

In New York, her attorney Mark Heller said he expects the assault charge to be dismissed.

"Once again, Lindsay Lohan is a victim of someone trying to capture their 15 minutes of fame," Heller wrote in a statement. "From my initial investigation, I am completely confident that this case will be concluded favourably and that Lindsay will be totally exonerated."

The California charges could trigger another probation violation for Lohan, who was ordered to stay out of trouble when she was released from supervised probation in March after being convicted of the misdemeanour theft of a necklace and two DUI charges.

Since then she has been arrested twice in New York, crashed her car on Pacific Coast Highway, been treated by paramedics in her hotel room, and gotten in an argument with her mother that prompted a 911 call.

None of the events are likely what the clearly relieved actress anticipated in March when she thanked Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner, who warned the actress that she could face up to 245 days in jail if she violated her probation again.

"You need to live your life in a more mature way, stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work," Sautner said.

In recent years, Lohan has been sentenced to the Los Angeles-area women's jail five times. Most of her stays have been short due to overcrowding, and she was allowed to serve 35 days on house arrest in 2011.

Lately, Lohan has been filming two movies and doing a cameo in the latest installment of the "Scary Movie" franchise. The first film, "Liz & Dick," premiered Sunday night on Lifetime to mostly negative reviews.

She was on her way to shoot scenes for "Liz & Dick" in June when her Porsche crashed into the dump truck and the actress was briefly hospitalized. A week later, paramedics were summoned to her hotel room. Her then-publicist Steve Honig attributed the health scare to exhaustion and dehydration.

Lohan relocated to New York after finishing her work on "Liz and Dick" and a Bret Easton Ellis film titled "The Canyons" was complete.

On Thursday, police said Lohan got into a spat with a woman at Club Avenue in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. The woman was hit in the face and did not require medical attention, authorities said. The "Mean Girls" and "Freaky Friday" star was charged with third-degree assault.

Her arrest at 4 a.m. EST Thursday was the latest by New York police since September, when a man accused her of hitting him with her car. Prosecutors did not pursue charges.

The following month, police were called to Lohan's childhood home on Long Island after a report of a fight between her and her mother. An investigation revealed what authorities called "no criminality."

It remains unclear when Lohan will return to Los Angeles. She left a police precinct nearly four hours later with a black jacket pulled over her head. Lohan was wearing leggings, a green mini dress and high-heels. She drove off in a black SUV with a driver, a woman and another man who was seen going in and out of the precinct. No court date was announced for the crash-related charges.

People charged with misdemeanours in California can generally avoid court appearances if they have an attorney, but Lohan would have to be present for a probation violation hearing.

___

Associated Press Writer Ula Ilnytzky in New York contributed to this report.

___

Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP


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