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Chris Brown's D.C. Assault Charge Reduced to Misdemeanor

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By Betty Wang, JD on October 29, 2013 3:46 PM

Assault charges against Chris Brown and his bodyguard in connection to a fight in Washington D.C. over the weekend have been reduced. Rapper and entertainer Brown, was held alongside his bodyguard for 36 hours in a Washington jail but then released without bail on Monday afternoon, CNN reports.

The alleged fight, according to a police incident report, occurred when Isaac Parker, 20, tried to hop into a photo which Brown and a female fan were posing for. The singer then apparently exclaimed, "I'm not down with that gay s--t," and "I feel like boxing," before allegedly punching Parker in the face. Brown's bodyguard jumped in as well, throwing a punch at Parker before pulling Brown with him onto the tour bus.

What were Brown's initial charges, and why are they now reduced? What does this mean for his other cases and probation?

Reduced Assault Charges

Brown, 24, was initially charged with felony assault, but that charge has since then been reduced to simple assault, which is a misdemeanor. The general crime of assault refers to any attempt to injure someone else. In California, assault is defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on another person.

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge typically turns on the circumstances. When it comes to assault, felonious conduct is generally determined by the severity of the inflicted injury, the damage or harm that results, and if a weapon was used.

According to TMZ, as reported by USA Today, Brown's charges were reduced because the injuries to Parker were supposedly minor, despite claims that Brown broke Parker's nose.

Probation Violation

The rapper is definitely no stranger to brushes with the law. Brown is notably still on probation stemming from a famous altercation with then (and possibly current) girlfriend, pop-star Rihanna, back in 2009.

How will this new charge affect his current probation?

Probation violations occur when the offender breaks a condition of his or her probation, such as showing up for community service, remaining drug free, or not committing other offenses. In this case, being charged with a violent crime will likely be seen as a violation.

CNN reports that after his release on Monday, Brown was ordered to report to his probation officer within 48 hours and also to stay at least 100 yards away from Parker. Both he and his bodyguard are slated to return to court sometime in late November.

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