Lindsay Lohan is returning to familiar territory - a criminal court to face a judge who could send her back to jail or rehab for a failed drug test.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox will formally determine whether the "Mean Girls" star violated her probation with the drug test in September. If the actress admits the results are accurate - as she has already done publicly - then Fox could return her to jail or order her to remain in an inpatient rehab program.
Fox had been expecting Lohan to arrive at court directly from jail, where he ordered her to be held on Sept. 24 after a brief hearing. Within hours another judge had overturned his ruling and the starlet was released on bail.
The following week, a person close to the actress told The Associated Press, Lohan entered rehab for the fifth time. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Her recent court troubles have put Lohan's career on hold. She missed opportunities to promote her role in the summer film "Machete" because she was in jail and rehab. Her next starring role is supposed to be in a biopic on porn actress Linda Lovelace.
Friday's hearing will be Lohan's fifth court appearance since May, when she ran into trouble with her probation on a three-year-old drug and drunken driving case.
In July and August, she spent 14 days in jail and 23 days in rehab as punishment for missing several court-ordered weekly counseling sessions.
Fox allowed her to be released from rehab early based on the recommendations of her doctors and laid out a path for her to be taken off probation by the end of the year. His regimen included frequent counseling sessions, meetings with probation officials and random drug screenings. It also included several incentives, including an assurance that if the actress complied with the terms for 67 days, her probation oversight would end and she would be free to move from Los Angeles. He also dismissed two drug charges that were filed after a pair of arrests in 2007.
Within weeks of her release from rehab, Lohan, 24, failed a drug test. She acknowledged the result in postings on Twitter and said she was struggling with addiction.
Fox had threatened to send her to 30 days in jail for each failed or missed test. He did not indicate at last month's hearing whether he was mulling other sentences.
Lohan's attorney, Shawn Chapman Holley, did not return e-mail and phone messages seeking comment.
If Lohan is sentenced to jail, she will be subject to early release due to jail overcrowding. When a judge sentenced her to three months in jail in July, she served 14 days. She spent 84 minutes at the jail in 2007 before being released due to overcrowding.
Lohan pleaded no contest to two counts of driving with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent and one count of reckless driving. She was sentenced to three years of probation, but that was later extended after the actress didn't complete the terms of her sentence in time.
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.
© 2010 The Associated Press.