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Lindsay Lohan avoids jail time ... for the time being

  • lindsay lohan courtroom 660 fox3.JPG

    Lindsay Lohan and attorney Mark Heller in court on Jan. 30, 2013. (KTTV-MYFOXLA)

  • lindsay lohan courtroom 660 fox1.JPG

    Lindsay Lohan and attorney Mark Heller in court on Jan. 30, 2013. (KTTV-MODFOXLA)

  • Lindsay Lohan court Fox.jpg

    Lindsay Lohan arrives at court in Los Angeles. (KTTV-MYFOXLA)

  • Lindsay Lohan court Fox3.jpg

    Lindsay Lohan arrives at court in Los Angeles. (KTTV-MYFOXLA)

  • Lindsay Lohan court Fox1.jpg

    Lindsay Lohan arrives at court in Los Angeles. (KTTV-MYFOXLA)

Lindsay Lohan has nine lives when it comes to staying out of the pokey.

The "Liz & Dick" star avoided jail time at a court date on Wednesday, but Judge Stephanie Sautner scheduled several future dates to hammer out the starlet's string of legal issues. 

And the veteran judge, who has sentenced Lohan to jail in the past, wasn't in the mood for any funny business in court. 

Prosecutors in Santa Monica, Calif., have charged Lohan with lying to police about driving a sports car that crashed into a dump truck in June, reckless driving and obstructing officers from performing their duties.

Sautner scheduled Lohan's case to be brought back into court on March 1, and again on March 18 if it goes to trial. Lohan is not required to attend the pretrail hearing on March 1, but the judge clarified she must be present on March 18. 

Lohan, 26, looked tired, with puffy eyes, as she sat in the hearing next to her new attorney Mark Heller. Multiple reports had her flying out of New York City on the last flight to Los Angeles Tuesday night. During the hearing, Lohan closed her eyes at one point and touched her face, looking as if she was not feeling well. 

Her new attorney Mark Heller (Lohan sacked previous lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley) addressed reports that Lohan was initially too sick to attend the hearing, but said she changed her mind at the last moment to "show respect to the court."

But Sautner was not buying it. 

When Heller told the court Lohan had an upper respiratory infection, Sautner quipped: "Is that like a cold?"

Heller tried to liken her illness to the flu. 

"No it’s not," the judge said. "The flu is the flu."

At another point in the hearing, when Heller, in a thick New York City accent, attempted to make small talk with the judge about her New York roots she cut him off.

"Flattery doesn't get you anywhere in this court," she said. 

In what is perhaps another lucky stroke for Lohan, Sautner said she will be retiring just ahead of LiLo's next hearing.  

The actress wore a black sleeveless dress paired with heels to court and arrived with her mother, Dina. The two were about five minutes late to the scheduled hearing. 

In March, Sautner released Lohan from supervised probation but warned her to stop partying and grow up.

"You need to live your life in a more mature way, stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work," Sautner told Lohan at the time. The admonition came after the judge conducted several monthly updates with the actress and required her to perform morgue cleanup duty to complete her sentence in a 2007 drunken driving case.

Lohan has since filmed two movies but has repeatedly gotten into trouble, including a pair of arrests in New York that have not resulted in charges.

She was on probation for theft at the time of the wreck in California, and Sautner had warned the actress she could be sentenced to 245 days in jail if she didn't behave. 

The latest hearing also resolved who will be Lohan's lawyer for the criminal case. With the actress's approval, New York attorney Heller replaced Lohan's longtime lawyer Holley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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