Chris Brown: Rihanna Beating Looms Large Over Most Recent Arrest

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Following his arrest for assault in D.C. last weekend, Chris Brown's biggest problem is not the current legal situation, but his probation for assaulting Rihanna.

Chris Brown Singing Live

As you know, Brown was arrested for assault Sunday morning following a violent altercation outside a club and spent about 36 hours in jail as a result.

Monday, the charge against Chris was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, as the victim's injuries weren't that severe and statements conflicted.

It's almost certain that won't do any time for the incident, but the impact it could have on his probation status in the Rihanna case is far less clear cut.

The L.A. County Probation Department is conducting an investigation to determine if Chris violated his probation in the beef with the two D.C. guys.

His probation requires him to obey all laws. A violation of that rule could trigger a revocation of his freedom, something he's flirted with in the past.

If you know anything about Chris, that's putting it mildly.

One source familiar with the investigation states the obvious when he tells TMZ, "It's pretty clear he didn't keep his nose clean. It sure seems like a violation."

The Probation Dept. will submit a report to the judge overseeing the Rihanna case, and the D.A. will then weigh in on whether or not to revoke Chris' probation.

Worst case scenario for Chris? Four YEARS in prison.

He was sentenced to five years' probation for beating the crap out of Rihanna in 2009. It doesn't expire until late 2014, if he can hold out that long.

Revoking the 24-year-old star's probation does not require a conviction, which is key. A judge could do it if it's believed Chris is disregarding laws.

Regardless of who threw the first punch, or whether he comes out of this particular incident with no charges, he still could be in violation of probation.

If that happens, he'll be arrested, then likely freed on bail pending a hearing. That's similar to what happened with the whole community service debacle.

The judge could also sit tight and see what happens with the D.C. case going forward. Stay tuned to see how it plays out ... but he's on thin ice for sure.

Are you on Chris Brown's side (Team Breezy)?

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Chris Brown Biography

Chris Brown Tattoo
Chris Brown was born in 1989, which means he couldn't even buy beer when he first broke onto the scene. But man, this R&B singer... More »
Born
Birthplace
Tappahannock, Virginia
Full Name
Christopher Maurice Brown