Lindsay Lohan faces a return to jail before the end of the week if she fails to convince a Los Angeles judge she should remain free in court on Friday (24Sep10)

The actress will return to a courthouse in Beverly Hills on Friday, when she'll be at the mercy of Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox - and she could be leaving in an all-too-familiar jumpsuit.

Lohan spent 13 days behind bars and another 23 days in a lock-down rehab centre this summer (Jul10) after she was found guilty of violating her probation on a 2007 DUI arrest, and she's already in trouble again after failing a mandatory drug test earlier this month (Sep10).

Judge Fox had warned Lohan he would put her back behind bars for 30 days if she tested positive or skipped one of her twice-weekly tests.

However, insiders tell that Lohan will avoid jail even if Judge Fox remands her into custody - because he will have to set bail.

Sources tell the website Friday's hearing will be extremely short and a bail bondsman will be in the courtroom to take care of business on the spot, so Lindsay will walk out a free woman.

But, when the probation violation hearing is held next month (Oct10) as planned, Judge Fox could sentence the actress to 30 days in jail, based on the failed drug test for cocaine.