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Lindsay Lohan caught a huge break yesterday when the felony grand theft charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor by Judge Stephanie Sautner.

The judge felt that the nature of the alleged crime and the value of the necklace in question simply did not warrant a felony charge. PHEW, right?

Of course, LiLo is still on probation for her 2007 DUI arrest, and Sautner was far less lenient in that regard. She sentenced her to 120 days in county jail!

Lindsay has been remanded into custody and taken to the courthouse basement to be booked. She is allowed to post bail pending an appeal of the ruling.

This being Lohan, she’s been down this road so many times before and was well prepared. She posted $75,000 bail and was back on the street within hours.

LiLo was also ordered to complete 480 hours of community service for the offense, 360 of which must be performed at L.A.’s Downtown Women’s Center.

There, Lindsay can see how needy women really have to live in this society. The remaining 120 hours of her service will be done at the L.A. County morgue.

So she’s free for now, but we expect her to lose that appeal and be back to Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif., soon. Here’s why …

At the preliminary hearing on the grand theft charge, the judge felt Lindsay should have called the store and notified the owner about the necklace sooner.

She waited several weeks and returned the necklace via some underling only after finding out the cops were about to raid her house. Pretty shady stuff.

Sautner seemed influenced by the Lindsay Lohan surveillance video, which she saw for the first time in court, and showed something suspicious was up.

Deputy D.A. Danette Meyers argued Lindsay used her friend Patrick as a decoy to distract the clerk while she pilfered the necklace valued at $2,500.

Lohan denies all of this and has pleaded not guilty. While a jury of her peers may agree, a judge has the sole authority to rule on probation violations.

Lohan rejected a plea deal that would have gotten her three months (cut down to less than one with good behavior) and ended this weeks ago. Rough.

So here we are. Most likely, this was a way of making sure Lohan does time no matter what happens in the actual trial – and probably for the best.

What do you think of Lohan’s 120-day jail sentence?