12/12/2003 at 01:00 AM EST
Authorities in Georgia are investigating if singer Bobby Brown -- charged with battery after he allegedly hit his wife, Whitney Houston -- possibly violated his probation on a prior drunken driving conviction, reports the Associated Press.
Brown, 34, is on probation until Feb. 17, 2005, for a drunken driving conviction in DeKalb County, according to Courtney Johnson, a lawyer with the DeKalb County solicitor general's office.
Brown was charged on Wednesday with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly hit Houston last Sunday. (The charge carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine, though usually a first offense in domestic violence cases usually results in a dismissal if the defendant agrees to counseling.) The R&B singer is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on Jan. 7.
Kevin Batye, chief probation officer for DeKalb County, tells AP that his office is investigating the alleged fight between husband and wife before making a recommendation to a judge on Brown's probation. If a violation is found, Brown could go to jail, he said.
Earlier this week, police spokesman Kurtis Young told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the alleged incident between the couple started as "a verbal confrontation, which escalated to a physical confrontation," though he would not provide details on the cause of the argument. The officer responding to the call saw bruises on Houston's cheek and inside her upper lip.
In a police report obtained by the New York Post, "Brown sated he was going to 'beat her ass,' and then struck the left side of her face with an open right hand."
Houston and Brown, married since 1992, have a 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.