Lindsay Lohan v Paris Hilton: A Lawyer Compares the 2

Posted on May 30, 2007 in Celebrity Justice

lindsay_lohan915_461f527247fce-t.jpgBy now, you’ve probably seen Lindsay Lohan passed out in a car this past Sunday night, after being rushed to the hospital on Saturday for minor injuries when she ran her car into a telephone pole.

And, you’ve probably chuckled at last week’s photos of Paris Hilton carrying a Bible and the book The Power of Now. 

Paris is already going to jail.

From reports that Lindsay’s lawyer escorted her back to rehab admist rumors circulating that a “usuable amount” of cocaine had been found in Lindsay Lohan’s car as well as gossip that she’d been drinking over the holiday — well, it’s a big hint to criminal defense attorneys that Lindsay‘s attorneys are concerned about the possibility of jail time.  Lindsay‘s arrest on Saturday was for suspicion of driving under the influence,  what happens on the cocaine discovery is an open question right now.

What does this mean to you?  Who’s in the worst position right now – Paris or Lindsay?

Short term, I’d say Paris Hilton.   She’s definitely going to jail – and soon.  Jail time is jail time: to stand inside a cell when those doors close is a Major Life Event.  For someone like Paris Hilton, well — it will be interesting to see if she is changed by the experience.

Long term, I say Lindsay Lohan.  Sure, she’s tucked away in rehab right now for 30 days.  However, additional charges can still be brought against her: first, it was a crime to leave the scene of an accident, although her defense is she had to leave to get emergency medical treatment.  Second, the cocaine possession issue hinges on the amount that was found.  If it’s found to be a “sellable” amount, it’s more serious than a smaller “usable” amount.  Third, her Blood Alcohol Content will be found in the medical records.  If opiates as well as illegal alcohol limits are shown, she could face more charges.

However, Lindsay Lohan has no prior convictions; she has voluntarily entered rehab; and no one got hurt in the accident – expect for the pole and some landscaping, maybe.   Even if additional charges are filed, Lindsay will probably not face jail time on this event.

Her biggest long term harm is probably to her career.  Her insurability as a reliable actress has been ruined, and she will have to prove herself in the future in order to get that back.

Bottom line:  Paris will have to spend time in jail.  That’s horrible for anyone.  But Lindsay’s career has blown up – and that’s a tremendous loss.

What does this mean to you?  You don’t have to have repeat DUIs or severe car accidents to have a big, bad impact on your life.  A single DUI or DWI conviction can not only impact your pocketbook (rates skyrocket), but it can impact your job, your relationships, and your future for a long, long time.�

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