LOS ANGELES — Lindsay Lohan was freed from a suburban Los Angeles jail late Friday night, well short of the nearly monthlong stay a judge had intended for the actress following a failed drug test.
Lohan, who stayed in the same cell she occupied during her last stay, was freed at about 11:40 p.m. after posting $300,000 bail, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told NBC News.
Lohan had been a "model inmate" trying to navigate the system, Whimore said.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden Fox ordered Lohan held without bail during a brief hearing Friday morning, but his ruling was later overturned by a different judge on the grounds that defendants in misdemeanor cases are entitled to bail.
The actress did not receive preferential treatment even though she was allowed to exit in the back of the complex before being taken away by security and people describes as friends, Whitmore told NBC.
Ankle alcohol monitor
The actress is not entirely free. She will be required to wear an ankle alcohol monitor and stay away from establishments that primarily sell alcohol until her next court date on Oct. 22.
At that hearing Fox will formally determine whether Lohan, 24, violated her probation by failing a court-mandated drug test. The positive result came after the judge released Lohan early from inpatient rehab at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.Video: Lindsay Lohan goes back to jail (on this page)
He has said the "Mean Girls" star would be sent to jail for 30 days for each drug screening she skipped or failed and appeared to make good on the promise with his no bail order.
If he sentences her to jail in October, the amount of time her orders her to serve would be whittled down because of jail overcrowding and various credits.
Friday marked the third time Lohan has been sent to jail in a three-year-old drug and drunken driving case. She spent 84 minutes at the jail in 2007 and 14 days of a three-month sentence earlier this summer.
Fox had laid out a strict 67-day course of counseling, substance abuse meetings, monitoring and drug testing for Lohan in August. He asked probation officials on Friday to report how the actress had progressed on the treatment programs before Lohan's next court hearing.
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Before the hearing, Lohan star chatted with her attorney, smiling and laughing. But moments before Fox took the bench, she began fidgeting with her earrings and looking to the back of the courtroom, where were two bondsmen sat, prepared to post the actress' bail.
Lohan has twice been released early because of overcrowding, with her longest jail stay a 14-day stint on a 90-day sentence earlier this summer.
She and her mother had arrived at the courthouse together an hour before, while the actress's father — with whom she's publicly sparred — arrived earlier.
The actress acknowledged failing a court-ordered drug screening last week in a series of Twitter postings.
It was the star's first appearance before Fox, who had said at a previous hearing he would sentence her to a month in jail for each drug test she skipped or failed.
The actress wasn't present for that hearing, which was held hours after her release from rehab.
Lohan seemed to acknowledge an addiction problem after news of her positive drug test broke last week.
"Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn't go away over night," Lohan posted on her Twitter feed last Friday. "I am working hard to overcome it and am taking positive steps.
"This is certainly a setback for me but I am taking responsibility for my actions and I'm prepared to face the consequences," her posts said.
The actress remains on probation for a reckless driving and two driving under the influence charges, all misdemeanors. Fox dropped two drug cases at a hearing in August during which he announced Lohan's release from rehab and set out a strict outpatient treatment schedule that included random drug screenings.
Fox has sealed Lohan's court file, but a source familiar with the case has told The Associated Press that the actress' failed test came roughly two weeks after her release from rehab.
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