The embattled Mean Girls star had prepared to skip Wednesday's hearing after her new lawyer, Mark Heller, submitted a doctor's note to the court on Tuesday (29Jan13), explaining that his new client had been advised by medics to stay in the Big Apple and rest after contracting a respiratory infection.
Heller claimed the actress had been examined by a doctor on Saturday (26Jan13) - the same day she was photographed shopping in Manhattan.
However, Lohan subsequently caught a late-night flight to appear before Judge Stephanie Sautner and answer allegations she lied to California police following a car crash last year (12) - and the court official couldn't help but make light of the sick note, telling the star, "I'm glad to see you're feeling better."
Sautner then quizzed Lohan about her legal representation following the departure of her longtime lawyer Shawn Holley earlier this month (Jan13), and the actress reluctantly admitted she was happy to have her new lawyer, New York-based Heller, defend her against the latest charges - even though he is not that familiar with California law.
The judge approved the change of representation and set the next hearing for 1 March (13), reports TMZ.com.
Lohan faces three charges relating to her 2012 car crash - giving false information to a police officer, obstructing or resisting a police officer in the performance of his duty and reckless driving, which carry a jail sentence of over 240 days. The incident could also land her in trouble for violating her probation from her 2011 jewellery theft conviction.