The No 17 Could Save Lindsay Lohan From Felony Conviction?

(TMZ) There's a way Lindsay Lohan could avoid going to trial for felony grand theft -- and it all hinges on whether her lawyer uses a magic number -- 17 -- during today's preliminary hearing.

TMZ did some digging ... and there's a law that is commonly used to reduce felony charges to misdemeanors -- and it's used every day in court. It's California Penal Code, Section 17(b). Under the law, the judge has the ability to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor at the end of a preliminary hearing if the offense is relatively minor and the defendant is not a hardened criminal with a long record.

Fact is ... it's done everyday, and Lindsay's judge -- Stephanie Sautner -- has routinely exercised this power, according to courthouse sources. Fact is, in the greater scheme of things, Lindsay's DUI convictions do not make her a serious criminal, and the charge of stealing a necklace is no big whoop. more on this story

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