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Judge refuses to dismiss Lindsay Lohan car crash charges

Actress Lindsay Lohan attends a probation violation hearing at Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles, California in this file photo taken
Actress Lindsay Lohan attends a probation violation hearing at Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles, California in this file photo taken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles judge refused on Friday to dismiss the reckless driving and obstruction case against actress Lindsay Lohan and said the "Mean Girls" star would stand trial later this month in connection with her 2012 car crash.

Lohan, 26, was charged with reckless driving, lying to police and obstructing police - all misdemeanors - after her Porsche luxury sports car smashed into a truck on June 8, 2012, in Santa Monica, California.

The actress, who has been in out of trouble since 2007 and had her probation revoked for a 2011 theft in which she pleaded no contest, told police she was not driving the car at the time of the accident. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At a brief hearing on Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Dabney rejected defense lawyer Mark Heller's argument that Lohan was unlawfully questioned by police following the 2012 car crash.

The judge also refused Heller's request that Lohan's trial be pushed back to the first week of April. Lohan, who was not present at the hearing, will stand trial as scheduled on March 18, Dabney ruled.

The actress faces three months to a year in jail on each misdemeanor charge if convicted, though a prison sentence is seen as unlikely in the case. Lohan also could go to jail if she is found to have violated the terms of her probation.

Earlier this week Heller told reporters that Lohan had started a new round of psychotherapy and wanted to give inspirational speeches to school kids in a bid to turn her life around.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Paul Simao)

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