Chris Brown will appear in a Los Angeles court today to face charges that he assaulted Rihanna earlier this year. If convicted, 20-year-old Brown could end up in prison for four years, according to MSNBC.
Today's trial is a preliminary hearing, in which a judge decides if there's enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Brown. At this point the hearing is a legal formality—it's unlikely that a judge would decide there is insufficient evidence, and Rihanna's lawyers have made no move to drop the charges or settle outside court.
If the judge decides today to move forward with criminal prosecution, which includes a trial by a jury, Brown will have 30 days in which to enter a second plea—he originally plead not guilty.
Today's hearing will start at 1:45 PT, and Rihanna is scheduled to testify against her ex-boyfriend. The question on everyone's minds: What will Rihanna say?
According to TMZ, if the case goes to trial Chris Brown's lawyers are going to emphasize that Rihanna started the violence, and Brown responded by hitting her only after provoked. Rihanna had originally told the police that Brown attacked her first.
Brown might not take the witness stand at all today—MTV is reporting that the hip-hop star might use his Fifth amendment rights and stay silent.
The judge has banned TV cameras from the courtroom, but media is allowed to attend.