Legal Expert Weighs In on Chris Brown's Latest Arrest and Its Potential Ramifications

Troy Slaten talks to E! News about potential jail time and custody battles

By Holly Passalaqua, Francesca Bacardi Aug 31, 2016 5:27 PMTags

Chris Brown certainly has had a fair share of ups and downs over years, having suffered the consequences of legal infractions but also enjoying the perks of fatherhood.

Tuesday, however, the R&B artist was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon after Baylee Curran claimed Brown threatened her with a gun. After a lengthy standoff with police at his house, Brown finally emerged from his home and was taken into custody. He has since been released from jail on a $250,000 bail.

Given Brown's rap sheet, what does his latest infraction mean? Legal expert Troy Slaten talks to E! News about everything, from possible jail time to how this will affect his custody agreement with Nia Guzman over daughter Royalty. Brown's probation ended last year, so according to Slaten he can't be "thrown in the slammer" for probation violation.

As for what assault and battery with a deadly weapon could mean punishment wise, Slaten breaks it down. "Assault with a deadly weapon is a possible felony in California, and there is an significant enhancement for using a firearm in the commission of a crime," he tells us. "An enhancement means that, if convicted and found true, your prison sentence is increased or 'enhanced."

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"Brandishing a firearm is a misdemeanor in most instances and subjects one up to a year in county jail or probation or both," he continues.

E! News previously reported that a bag was thrown out one of Brown's windows but could not confirm what was inside of it. Should it be drugs, however, Slaten says that could be an added charge. "Depending on the type and quantity of drugs found, that can also be a misdemeanor or felony," he explains.

Should Brown be convicted, Slaten explains, his jail time could vary. The max penalty for assault with a deadly weapon is four years in state prison plus a gun enhancement that could be "three, four or ten years, so theoretically 14 years is the statutory max. But that would be very unlikely without a long rap sheet."

All of this "will almost certainly be the basis for additional proceedings in family court over the status of Royalty," Slaten adds, explaining that Guzman could fight for sole custody as well as more child support.

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"Nia Guzman gets $2,500 a month in child support but has been trying to get that increased. Her request for $16,000 a month was withdrawn. If she is granted sole physical custody she can revisit the issue of support," Slaten explains. "The more time a child spends with a parent, the more support that parent can seek."

Slaten also believes that Guzman will use Brown's recent legal troubles as a basis to petition the court to grant her sole physical custody. She also might request that any visitation Brown receives be monitored. "I expect to see movement on the family law case immediately," Slaten shares with us. "Guzman can file an emergency petition to have the court act 'in the best interests of the child.'"

Slaten also says that Brown's profanity-laden Instagram video responses could be used against him in both criminal and family courts.

"Guzman doesn't have to prove to the family court that Brown is guilty 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' the standard used in criminal cases," Slaten adds. "She only has to prove by 'clear and convincing' evidence that the bests interests of the child are served by her requests."

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