Heller is replacing Lohan's longtime lawyer Shawn Holley, whom the 26-year-old starlet recently fired.
TMZ said Heller filed a document with the court this week, saying Lohan was in New York suffering from an upper respiratory infection and couldn't fly to California for Wednesday's hearing to answer allegations she lied to police about her involvement in a motor-vehicle accident while she was on probation for stealing a necklace and driving drunk.
The celebrity news website said Lohan changed her mind about attending the court appearance after photos were published showing her smoking and shopping when she was supposed to be sick.
TMZ said Lohan was afraid her probation would be revoked and a warrant for her arrest issued.
"I'm glad to see you're feeling better," Judge Stephanie Sautner told Lohan Wednesday morning.
After granting Lohan's request to change lawyers, Sautner scheduled another court date for March 1, TMZ said.