April 21, 2011 — -- Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan heads to court today for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to put her on trial for the alleged felony theft of a $2,500 necklace.
Lohan, who had turned down an earlier plea deal on the matter, had sought to get the hearing pushed back, citing religious beliefs and today being Good Friday. The judge apparently was not persuaded by Lohan's attempt to put off the hearing.
Commenting on Lohan's case, former prosecutor Robin Sax told "Good Morning America" that the best defense was "a strategy of delay."
"The real reason that a criminal defendant postpones a case is to hope that people lose interest, that evidence gets lost, that people don't care and that the case could go away," she said.
Lohan, 24, was arraigned in February on one felony grand theft charge. She is accused of stealing a necklace from Kamofie and Co., a Venice, Calif., jewelry store, Jan. 22.
Lohan's Troubles Might Hurt Her Acting Career
Prosecutors today are expected to question the shop owner who says surveillance video shows the "Mean Girls" actress walking out of the store wearing the designer necklace for which she had not paid.
Lohan has denied any wrongdoing. She says the store let her borrow the necklace and her assistant returned it to police.
Lohan's lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, reportedly had the necklace appraised, claiming it is worth less than $900. If that's true, the charge against Lohan could be reduced to a misdemeanor.
Lohan has already been to jail three times in the past three years for DUI, drug possession and probation violations.
Amid her legal problems, Lohan has been trying to kick-start her career. She made a recent appearance on MTV in which she mocked herself in a skit.
She landed a small part this week in the upcoming John Gotti biopic that will star John Travolta.
But one movie expert believes Lohan's well-publicized troubles might put an end to her chances for a comeback.
"Lindsay cannot work for a studio right now," David Poland of Moviecitynews.com said. "She is untouchable for any major studio. So, the only work that's possible for her is a little cameo here.
"[If] she works for one or two days for something, and she's not the linchpin for which the movie is financed, she can work. But as soon as you get past that cameo appearance kind of thing, anybody with any real money invested who's actually in the traditional film business cannot hire her."
Even so, minor roles could potentially help her court case.
Former prosecutor Sax said Lohan could benefit in court if she worked and stayed off drugs.
"By being a proactive member of society, the judge is less likely to want to throw her in jail because we all know that jail makes people regress to their behavior and the best thing for Lindsay is to be working and to be busy," Sax said.
Lohan could be sent to California state prison for up to three years if she is convicted on felony grand theft charges.
ABC News' Michael Milberger, Eileen Murphy and Jesus Ayala contributed to this report.