Is Lindsay Lohan Getting Special Treatment? Expert Answers!

By: / November 7, 2011

Lindsay Through the Years
A look at Lindsay Lohan through the years.
When Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 30 days in prison last week, many wondered if she was finally getting the wake-up call she so badly needed.

But now, after serving just four hours of those 30 days, reportedly due to overcrowding, the door has been opened for a whole new set of questions.

Is Lindsay getting special treatment because she’s a celebrity? Is she really going to learn anything from this? Or is she doomed to fail again? We spoke to New York-based attorney Stuart Slotnick this morning to get to the bottom of the case. Find out what he had to say below.

Do you think a non-celebrity would have been released as quickly as Lindsay was?
I practice in New York City, and there are similar overcrowding issues here, and people are released because of overcrowding from time to time. They generally release people that are on the spectrum, the ones that should be released. She’s certainly not a danger to society. She’s not a hardened criminal. She’s not a violent felon. So, I think when you look at the totality of the circumstances, it was a fair and a reasonable thing to do. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she is free and clear for the future.

Do you think Lindsay’s four-hour stint in jail will hinder her motivation to turn herself around?
Most people with substance abuse issues that are in this criminal justice system fail several times before they’re successful in their rehabilitation. So, it’s very hard to say what motivates someone who has a substance abuse problem. Unfortunately, she has people around her [who] will tell her what she wants to hear. She’s a celebrity. She has a tremendous amount of wealth. It appears from the outside that she is not yet ready to address her personal problems. Hopefully that day will come sooner rather than later.

When Judge Stephanie Sautner read her ruling, it seemed like Lindsay wanted to get her probation over with sooner rather than later. Is that a sign she’s eager to make good?
It’s hard to say. There could be several motivating factors for her. One is that this is affecting her ability to work. It’s tarnishing her reputation. Sometimes, people have bad boy or bad girl reputations and that actually augments their relationship and makes them more attractive, and it doesn’t seem to be working with her. For example, Charlie Sheen, all of his mishaps with escorts and drugs seemed to enhance his relationship. It doesn’t seem to be having the same effect for her. So, she could be motivated by the desire to clean up her reputation so she can get back to work. Or maybe she has come to the personal realization that it’s time to get her act together.

Judge Sautner was very tough on Lindsay in her last two court appearances. Do you think she might be mad that Lindsay was in and out of jail so quickly?
I can’t really answer that question. But … you asked whether or not she gets special treatment. If anything, she might get a little harsher treatment, because the judge doesn’t want to get a reputation of being soft on crime or soft on celebrities, and because her case is followed nationally, and sometimes internationally, the judge might be a little more harsh on her, wherein circumstances defendants with substance abuse problems are given chances and opportunity because there’s such a high rate of failure.

How often are substance abuse defendants able to get it together?
Like I said, the failure rate for defendants with substance abuse problems is high … Once an individual with a substance abuse problem has entered the criminal justice system, we see them returning frequently. So it’s hard to say if this will be, or if she’ll be back or if she’s done.

Say you were defending Lindsay. What would you advise to her?
Clearly, the best advice that she can get it is that she needs to make the mandates of the court her first priority. She needs to show up for her community service. She needs to meet her deadlines, and she needs to stay away from all substances, including alcohol. There’s no question that her problem emanates from her chemical dependency, which includes alcohol, and she needs to stay from that … She needs to be responsible. But that’s advice that anyone can give her and it’s easy for her to ignore.