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Chris Brown Takes a Gamble on Hit-Run Charge in Court

Chris Brown looks on as his lawyer makes a point in court today.

Chris Brown looks on as his lawyer makes a point in court today. (pool photo)

Chris Brown placed a calculated bet on a hit-and-run charge that could send him to jail by pleading not guilty today in court. A Los Angeles County judge has already revoked his probation.

Brown was ordered to serve five-year’s probation stemming from his 2009 felony assault conviction for beating up Rihanna on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

Under the terms of his probation, he was required to obey all laws. He allegedly rear-ended a car in Los Angeles on May 21. But he did not hand over his driver’s license and insurance information as a required by California law.

Instead, he allegedly gave the other driver false information, engaged in a heated argument and left the scene of the accident. Failure to provide valid information constitutes misdemeanor hit-and-run, under California law.

But Brown got at least one break today. Charges of driving without a valid license and proof of insurance were dismissed.

Brown is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 15. A judge will determine if he violated his probation. Although a jail sentence is possible, Brown will likely escape jail time because of chronic overcrowding.

By pleading not guilty, he opens the door to plea negotiations, or he could possibly try to convince a jury he’s not guilty of the charge. The driver of the other car reportedly does not want to see the R&B singer go to jail.

Brown was also sentenced to 180 days of community service as a result of the Rihanna beatdown and was accused by Los Angeles prosecutors of falsifying records to avoid doing the time.

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