She surprised everyone when she arrived on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards June 3, claiming she was prepared to serve the term. Skipping out on the after-party scene, Hilton checked into the detention center just before midnight, snapping a now infamous mugshot that featured Hilton in full makeup.
Hilton served her three-day sentence by herself in a 12-by-8-foot jail cell, where she was confined for 23 hours a day. While in jail, she was visited by a psychiatrist and her attorneys.
In the early hours of June 7, Hilton was released from jail because of an undisclosed medical condition. Sheriff Lee Baca ordered that Hilton wear an electronic monitoring bracelet with a range of 3,000 to 4,000 square feet for the next 40 days.
Under the terms of her house arrest, Hilton could stroll outside, get the mail and maybe throw a party, but she could not leave her multimillion Hollywood Hills mansion.
Shortly before noon, Hilton issued a statement through her attorney that included a thank-you to the jail: "I want to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and staff of the Century Regional Detention Center for treating me fairly and professionally."
Late Thursday, Los Angeles city attorneys, angered by the sheriff's decision to free Hilton, petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court and Judge Sauer, requesting that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department return the socialite to the detention facility to serve the remainder of her sentence.
The prosecutors argued in the June 7 petition that the sheriff's office violated California law and specifically, the judge's order that Hilton not be eligible for an electronic monitoring program. They requested that the court require the sheriff's office to explain why Baca should not be held in contempt.
Because neither the sheriff's department nor Hilton filed any motion to change the court's sentencing order, prosecutors argued that she never should have been released and that the sheriff acted outside his jurisdiction.
The sheriff's deputies union and members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors issued statements criticizing the sheriff's decision. As outrage over Hilton's release grew, Sauer responded to the petition late Thursday night, ordering Hilton and officials from the sheriff's department to report to court first thing Friday to resolve the sentencing dispute.
Baca stood by his decision, claiming that decision was based on medical advice and had nothing to do with preferential treatment of a celebrity.
While legal experts admit that overcrowding in California jails is a commonly accepted reason for early release -- with nonviolent inmates sometimes serving about 10 percent of a full term -- they also said release for medical reasons is unusual. In this case, the medical condition was not specified.
At roughly 10:30 a.m. EDT today, Los Angeles Superior Court Public Information Officer Allan Parachini said that Hilton would not be appearing in court. Instead, she could join the hearing by teleconference.
Less than an hour later, however, ABC News learned that Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer had ordered the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to get Hilton at her home and bring her to court.
Police escorted Hilton in a cruiser to the Superior Court for her hearing over her early release.
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer delivered the much anticipated decision: he ordered Hilton back to jail to serve her entire 45-day sentence for violating parole on her reckless driving charge.
Sauer claimed that he never endorsed the Los Angeles County sheriff's decision to release Hilton from jail after only three days.
Information in this report was compiled by David Schoetz and Brittany Bacon from the following sources: ABC News, The Associated Press, court records, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department.