As sources previously told EW, Lindsay Lohan has pleaded no contest in connection to her misdemeanor theft charge. Though the actress did not appear in court Wednesday, her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, entered the no contest plea for Lohan, thereby avoiding a lengthy trial stemming from the charges. (Lohan was accused of shoplifting a necklace from a Venice, Calif., jewelry store called Kamofie & Co.) The plea has the same effect as a guilty plea, but it cannot be used against her in a civil case.

In court, Judge Stephanie Sautner said Lohan still must serve 120 days in jail in connection to her parole violation, which stems from a 2007 drunk driving charge. Lohan has been ordered to begin serving on or before June 17, but it’s likely she’ll avoid time in the actual clinker: Holley told the court that it appears as though the actress will be approved for house arrest. Sautner, however, insisted that Lohan perform her house arrest and 480 hours of community service sentences separately. “House arrest is house arrest,” Sautner said. “You don’t get to double dip.” Lohan will also enroll in complete psychological counseling and a course about shoplifting. She has been placed under formal probation until November 2011, but it could be terminated sooner if she completes her community service.

The judge also told the court she would order the LAPD to police the Downtown Women’s Center — where Lohan has begun her community service — if members of the paparazzi insist on continuing to follow the actress and disrupting the Center’s peace. “I would ask the paparazzi to stop violating the privacy of those women down there,” Sautner said. “Despite the hard times they’ve fallen on, they still live a life of dignity, and are being hounded by the paparazzi … There’s got to be somebody more important in life than Ms. Lohan to follow.”

Despite the legal setbacks, Lohan had some recent victories in her professional life: She recently signed on to star in Gotti: Three Generations alongside John Travolta as Kim Gotti. It’s not clear, however, how her 120-day sentence might affect filming on the picture. A rep for the film tells EW it’s too soon to tell. Lohan released the following statement about her plea today: “I am glad to be able to put this past me and move on with my life and my career. I support the judge’s decision and hold myself accountable for being in this situation. I have already started my community service at the Downtown Women’s Center and thank everyone there for their warm welcome. I hope to be able to fulfill my obligation without any press attention. I think the media spotlight should be on issues such as homelessness and domestic violence instead of on me.”

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