Lindsay Lohan To Be Charged with Felony Grand Theft

02/08/2011 at 05:50 PM EST

Lindsay Lohan To Be Charged with Felony Grand Theft
Lindsay Lohan
Pool/Splash News Online
Lindsay Lohan's legal troubles just went from bad to worse.

The actress will be charged Wednesday with one felony count of grand theft for allegedly stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice, Calif., jewelry store on Jan. 22, the Los Angeles District Attorney has announced.

She is required to show up in person for an arraignment at an L.A. courthouse Wednesday afternoon. If convicted, Lohan, 24, potentially faces several years in state prison.

The actress's attorney Shawn Chapman Holley has denied Lohan committed any crime and plans to defend her in court.

A source close to the actress insisted the necklace was borrowed, not stolen. The source recently told PEOPLE, "Lindsay's used to getting gifted items that are worth way more than that. And why would she steal a necklace? She has tons of jewelry and doesn't need any more."

"The prosecutors have an uphill battle ahead because they must prove criminal intent, that Lindsay knew she wasn't authorized to remove the necklace from the store," says L.A. criminal defense attorney Stanley L. Friedman, who's not involved with the case. "Her attorney will almost certainly argue this was all just a misunderstanding."

Prison vs. Jail

"If she's convicted, the fact that Lindsay's on probation makes it more likely that she's headed for state prison versus jail," Friedman adds. "And in prison, they never release inmates early for overcrowding, only for good behavior."

LAPD detectives obtained a search warrant last week to search Lohan's Venice home, but before they descended on the actress, the necklace was returned to the police station, according to an LAPD statement.

Lohan is also currently under investigation by Riverside County prosecutors for allegedly battering a Betty Ford employee.

In her DUI case alone, L.A. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox previously warned Lohan on Oct. 22 that any more slip-ups would be met with six months in jail.

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