BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CBS/AP) A judge has ordered Lindsay Lohan to return to rehab instead of jail for a failed drug test.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox ordered the actress to continue rehab until Jan. 3.Fox's sentence means Lohan will not be returning to a suburban Los Angeles women's jail for a fourth time.
A prosecutor had advocated a six-month jail sentence for the "Mean Girls" star, but Fox opted for rehab after reviewing filings by probation and rehab officials and a letter written by Lohan.
Lohan cried after hearing the sentence.
The judge acknowledged that Lohan, 24, has been in-and-out of court and rehab since a pair of high-profile arrests in 2007. He told the actress that he would not be manipulated by her, but was giving her a final chance to stay clean.
"You're staying past the New Year's - there's a reason for that," Fox said.
Judge Fox had wanted Lohan to remain behind bars after she failed her court-ordered drug test Sept. 24, but another judge overruled his decision and released the actress on bail. Lohan checked into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. a week later, reports RadarOnline.com.
According to a person close to the actress, this will be her fifth stint in rehab.
Friday's hearing will also 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.
During the summer months, the "Machete" actress was unable to promote the film because she was in and out of both jail and rehab.
Originally, Judge Fox had released Lohan from rehab early based on recommendations of her doctors, and laid out a path which would get her off probation by the end of the year. He prescribed frequent counseling sessions, meetings with probation officials, and random drug screening.
Unfortunately, within weeks of her release from rehab the 24-year-old failed a drug test.
If Lohan is sent back to jail, she will most likely be subject to early release due to jail overcrowding.