The New York Criminal Law Blog

LiLo Takes New York: Hits a Pedestrian Chef and Runs

It probably felt like a fresh start, moving all the way to Manhattan. Los Angeles has not been good to Lindsay Lohan. Between the drug use, theft charges, DUI, the first alleged hit and run, the accident in June, and the constant paparazzi stalkers, New York has to be better, right?

It might be. She's still getting into trouble though. According to the Daily News, she was arrested this morning for hitting a pedestrian with her Porsche Cayenne and then leaving the scene. Of course, the arrest consisted of a citation and release. She spent no time in jail. Still, after hearing the victim's account, you have to wonder if all of that progress was for naught.

Jose Rodriguez was the unlucky pedestrian that found himself in the path of the Porsche. He was crossing a driveway when Lohan’s car struck him. He claims that she got out, slurring her speech and smelling strongly of liquor, and told him that he had to move. A member of her entourage put her in the back seat and took over driving duties before the car took off.

He got a picture of her license plate, but security prevented him from getting a picture of her. He reportedly had no idea who she was until another pedestrian told him. After being transported to Bellevue Hospital, he was diagnosed with torn ligaments, reorts the Daily News.

In Lohan’s defense, according to TMZ, a friend that was with her all night claims that Lohan was completely sober at a Slash concert that lasted up until 40 minutes before the crash. Apparently, Slash is also on the wagon, so alcohol and other drugs are not allowed back stage. The police also did not subject her to a Breathalyzer when she was given a ticket two hours later, as they did not suspect alcohol to be a factor.

In New York, hit-and-runs are governed by Section 600 of the Vehicle and Traffic Code. In instances where personal injury occurs, fleeing the scene is a class B misdemeanor if the driver merely fails to provide license and insurance information. If the driver’s conduct is more egregious, such as not stopping at all, the offense is a class A misdemeanor. If serious physical injury occurs, the offense is classified as a class E felony.

Because Lohan was given a ticket and released, without bail, the police are probably looking more at the misdemeanor offense than the felony charge. Also, because she stopped, made sure her victim wasn’t dead, and then took off, she’ll probably only be facing the class B misdemeanor, as her only violation was failure to exchange information. The maximum sentence is three months in jail, though probation is far more likely.

The trouble doesn’t stop there. A conviction for a misdemeanor offense in New York could impact her probation back in California. A probation violation could mean more jail time. At this point, much like Amanda Bynes, she should probably consider getting a driver.

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