By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Brave face: Lindsay Lohan appeared upbeat as she left a Santa Monica courthouse yesterday
Actress Lindsay Lohan will be charged with stealing a $2,500 (£1,560) gold necklace from a Los Angeles jewellery store, prosecutors revealed last night.
If convicted, Lohan, 24, could be sent to prison just as she is struggling to end more than three years of court appearances, failed drug tests and brief spells in jail stemming from a 2007 drink-driving conviction.
Lohan is expected to appear in court and be charged on Wednesday with one count of felony grand theft after allegedly walking out of the store in January without paying for the necklace, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said.
The theft charge comes just over a month after Lohan was released from a court-ordered three-month stay in rehab.
Theft claim: Los Angeles prosecutors revealed last night the actress will be charged with stealing a $2,500 gold necklace from a Los Angeles jewellery store
Lohan's lawyer said on Saturday that the Mean Girls actress 'vehemently denies' the allegations and would fight them in court.
Friends have said Lohan believed the necklace was on loan. It has been returned to police.
The actress is still on probation for the 2007 driving offense and was warned by a Beverly Hills judge in October that she could face six months in jail if she slipped up again.
Lohan was pictured yesterday looking carefree as she left a Santa Monica court house for a probation hearing.
Low key look: Lohan arrived to her probations hearing yesterday wearing a black patterned dress, a black sleeveless cardigan and black cowboy boots
At one point, she even smiled as she strolled to her car, wearing a black floral dress under a sleeveless black cardigan, which she teamed with cowboy boots and a bright blue bag.
Because of the high value of the necklace, it is classed as grand theft, making the crime a felony. Grand theft comes into play when items are worth more than $900.
Lohan is accused of taking a gold necklace from jewellery store Kamofie and Company last month.
If convicted, she could face up to three years behind bars at California State Prison.
Her British publicist Sophie Goodale has told MailOnline that Lohan denies claims she stole the necklace.
However, after a paparazzi photograph of the star wearing a gold necklace emerged - which is understood to have led police to target the star in a grand theft investigation - the actress changed her story, saying she was loaned the one-of-a-kind necklace.
Charges: Lohan will be charged with stealing a gold necklace from a Venice jewellery store
She says she returned it to her stylist who was responsible for returning it to the store.
But the store's owner Sofia Kaman has denied this. Kaman told TMZ: 'When we loan out jewellery, we have a whole procedure that needs to be done.
'There needs to be insurance information given or credit card information in case something happens with the jewellery.'
Police obtained a warrant to search Lohan's home on February 1, but the necklace was returned to police by the actress's stylist before a search could be conducted.
Lohan left rehab on January 3 after she tested positive for cocaine while on probation from a 2007 DUI case.
source: dailymail [endtext]