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Chris Brown out of rehab, but possible legal troubles loom

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By Alan Duke

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Chris Brown checked out of a rehab facility, but he will continue the program as an outpatient, his representative told CNN on Thursday.

The singer entered an in-patient rehabilitation center last month, a day after he was released from a Washington, D.C. jail following his arrest on an assault charge.

When Brown entered the rehab program on October 28, Perna said, "His goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point."

"Chris is continuing his rehab program as an outpatient and is also completing his community service in the Los Angeles area," rep Nicole Perna said Thursday. "He appreciates all of your encouragement and support."

Brown must complete 1,000 hours of community labor in Los Angeles as part of his punishment for beating former girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the Grammys in February 2009.

The behavior that has landed Brown, 24, in legal trouble over the past several years has been anger management.

His arrest on a sidewalk near the White House on October 27 put Brown on a path toward a possible prison sentence because of his California probation. The U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia charged Brown and his bodyguard with simple assault for a brawl last month in which a 20-year-old Maryland man suffered a broken nose.

The Rihanna incident resulted in a felony domestic violence conviction that carried a lengthy probation period.

A judge found Brown in violation of that probation in August because of discrepancies in proving he fulfilled the court-ordered 1,400 hours of community labor. He imposed another 1,000 hours of work.

Brown is in a vulnerable position. The Los Angeles judge overseeing his felony probation could order him to complete as many as four years in prison for the beating of Rihanna if he is found in violation of probation.

Brown is due in a Los Angeles court on November 20 for a probation status hearing. Prosecutors are waiting on the probation officer's report due next week to decide whether they will seek to put him behind bars, a spokeswoman said.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office appears in no mood to cut Brown any breaks, which suggests that prosecutors will ask for jail time for him because of the arrest in Washington.

The probation officer's job is to prepare a report for the Los Angeles judge. While the simple assault charge is a misdemeanor, it could trigger a probation revocation.

Going to rehab -- as his rep said "to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior" -- could allow Brown lawyer Mark Geragos to argue that the entertainer is getting proper help for his core problem.

The statement from Brown's rep did not disclose where the singer is going for rehab or what might be a "healthier vantage point" for him.
   
 CNN's Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.
   
 The-CNN-Wire
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