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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Lindsay Lohan fingernail message could spell more jail time, experts say

    Lindsay Lohan at her L.A. Superior Court appearance July 6, 2010. (Associated Press)

    Lindsay Lohan may have come with a message for the Los Angeles Superior Court when she appeared for her probation revocation hearing on Tuesday, and it could spell more jail time on top of her three-month sentence.

    Lohan, who was sentenced to 90 days in prison and 90 days in an in-patient rehabilitation facility for violating the terms of her probation, appeared in court with the words “f**k u” printed on her middle fingernail.

    NSFW PHOTO: Click for a close-up of Lindsay Lohan’s offending fingernail.

    And according to one expert, this could spell serious trouble for her sentencing, which was already triple the amount that the prosecution requested.

    (Lindsay Lohan at her L.A. Superior Court appearance July 6, 2010. (Reuters)

    FOX411.com reviewed photos from three separate photo agencies — Thompson Reuters, Associated Press and Getty — all of which appeared to display the words on her middle left-hand fingernail.

    RELATED: Lindsay Could Walk in a Week, Expert Says.

    A Thompson Reuters rep told FOX411.com in a statement that “the images of Lindsay Lohan published yesterday by Reuters were not altered beyond the normal bit of toning to correct color balance and contrast.”

    An Associated Press rep said that after discussion among their photo editors, they sent out an advisory to clients that read in part “EDS NOTE: OBSCENE LANGUAGE ON LEFT MIDDLE FINGERNAIL.”

    As photos of the offending fingernail began circulating, Lohan tweeted Wednesday that the nails were a “joke” with friends and “had nothing to do with court.”

    But if Lohan’s message was aimed toward the courts, “it would be a separate charge for contempt,” says New York City Public Defender Stacy Schneider. “She could have an entire extra sentence heaped on top of her current one. If the judge were angry enough, it could run even consecutively.”

    FOX411: Could Message Have Been for Dad?

    Los Angeles Public Defender Greg Apt echoed Schneider’s sentiments, calling Lohan’s fingernails a “creative” way to land in contempt of court.

    “The judge could hold her in direct contempt, which could be between three to five days in jail for vulgarity,” if the judge deemed the words were aimed at the court, Apt said.

    RELATED: Friends Concerned for Lohan’s Well Being.

    At the very least, the photos could raise questions about Lohan’s sincerity and remorse for missing court-mandated alcohol education classes, for which she tearfully apologized Tuesday.

    “I did the best I could,” Lohan, 24, told Revel, before sobbing at her sentencing. “I did do everything I was told to do and did the best I could to balance jobs and showing up. It wasn’t vacation, it wasn’t some sort of a joke.”

    But before Revel was likely even aware of Lohan’s fingernail message, she said Lohan’s apology was insincere, comparing it to “somebody who cheats and thinks it isn’t cheating if she doesn’t get caught.”

    PHOTOS: Stars Behind Bars.

    Still, in spite of the gravity of the situation, Lohan appeared calm and collected when she arrived at the hearing. Why? Sources close to Lohan told Fox411.com’s Pop Tarts column that she never expected to get more than a slap on the wrist. And, according to Schneider, while it’s unclear whether the message on her nails was meant for the judge, the mere fact that she would not remove it before a high profile appearance is “the most outrageous thing” she could have done.

    Schneider also slammed Lohan’s lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, for failing to prevent her client from entering the courtroom with the profane message.

    “It’s up to her lawyer to catch things like that,” she said. “A bra strap that shows or a boxer line that shows is pretty bad, but this tops the cake.”

    Regardless of her actions, it looks like Lohan will be going to jail. She is required to surrender July 20, when she will begin serving her time. Just how long she will spend behind bars remains to be seen.

    -Fox411.com’s Allison McGevna and Jo Piazza contributed to this report.

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