Lindsay Lohan is sentenced to jail over necklace theft

Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is unlikely to face jail time because of prison overcrowding

Lindsay Lohan has been sentenced to four months in jail over the theft of a gold necklace from a shop in Los Angeles last year.

The actress changed her plea to no contest, which under California law effectively means she admitted taking the jewellery worth $2,500 (£1,529).

Officials say the actress is likely to serve 17 days of the sentence and that will probably be under house arrest.

Lindsay Lohan has until 17 June to report to jail.

The 24-year-old released a statement saying she had already started 300 hours of community work at a women's shelter.

Lohan said: "I hope to be able to fulfil my obligation without any press attention. I think the media spotlight should be on issues such as homelessness and domestic violence instead of on me."

Along with working at the women's shelter, she will do 120 hours of community service at the coroner's office in Los Angeles, have to complete an anti-shoplifting class and will remain on probation for the next three years.

The star was on probation for a 2007 drink-drive case last January when a jewellery store in the Venice area of Los Angeles told police that she'd taken a necklace without permission.

The theft happened three weeks after Lohan was released from rehab.

She had been sent there for three months of treatment after failing a separate drug screening for cocaine and amphetamines.

Lohan also tested positive for alcohol shortly after the theft was reported.

Officials at the pre-trial hearing say the actress, best known for roles in Mean Girls and Ugly Betty, is unlikely to face jail time because of prison overcrowding.