"She had a lot of uncertainty [before the hearing] even though she really, truly believes she didn't do anything wrong and the whole thing was a misunderstanding," says the source. "But she really does think it's so ridiculous and people are just out to get her."
Lohan, 24, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of stealing a $2,500 necklace. After a stern warning from the judge, the troubled star was released on $40,000 bail Wednesday.
On Thursday the actress Tweeted, "i would never steal, in case people are wondering. I was not raised to lie, cheat, or steal."
While Lohan awaits her next hearing, set for Feb. 23, she is still baffled by the latest turn of events, claiming she thought she was allowed to borrow the necklace from a Venice, Calif., jewelry store.
If convicted, the actress could face up to three years in prison, but her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley told CNN that the grand theft charge is "entirely defensible."
While Lohan has had her fair share of troubles – with at least five rounds of rehab, three trips to county jail and multiple court appearances – friends insist that since leaving rehab at the beginning of the year she has been trying to turn her life around.
"She's finally got things on track, she's trying to do the right thing, and people are constantly trying to bring her down," the source added.