ATLANTA - Authorities were investigating Thursday whether singer Bobby Brown, charged with battery after he allegedly hit his wife, singer-actress Whitney Houston, violated his probation on a prior drunken driving conviction.
Brown is on probation until Feb. 17, 2005, for a drunken driving conviction in DeKalb County, said Courtney Johnson, a lawyer with the DeKalb County solicitor general's office.
The 34-year-old Brown was charged with misdemeanor battery Wednesday, three days after he allegedly hit Houston. He's scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Jan. 7.
Simple battery is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Normally on a first offense in domestic violence cases, the charge is dismissed if the defendant undergoes counseling.
Kevin Batye, chief probation officer for DeKalb County, told The Associated Press that after seeking information from neighboring Fulton County, where the alleged fight occurred, his office will make a recommendation to a judge on Brown's probation. If a violation is found, it could send Brown to jail.
Fulton police responded Sunday to a call by Houston to the couple's home near Alpharetta. She told police Brown had struck her on the left side of her face. Police said Houston had a bruised cheek and a cut inside her upper lip.
Houston, 40, and Brown have been married since 1992. They have a 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.