AFP reports according to police.
The TMZ celebrity news website said the 24-year-old was taken into custody after being booted out of a rehab facility in Malibu for substance abuse and anger management, where he has spent the last four months.
It said he was thrown out for breaching "internal rules," but not for drugs or violence. TMZ said he had been caught having an "inappropriate relationship" with a female worker, but that was not why he was ordered to leave.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Brown was arrested in Malibu and taken into custody in downtown Los Angeles. Officials did not specify how he had allegedly violated his probation.
Brown was arrested in February 2009 after getting involved in a physical confrontation with Barbadian superstar Rihanna that left her with a bruised and battered face.
He pleaded guilty to the assault and was sentenced to five years' probation and community service, as well as being required to take part in domestic violence counseling.
California authorities filed probation violation charges against Brown last year, giving him an additional 1,000 hours of community service work on his sentence for beating the pop star.
In October, Brown checked into the rehab facility two days after being charged over an altercation in the US capital Washington, in which he allegedly hit a man trying to take a picture of him outside a hotel.
In February, LA Superior Court Judge James Brandlin said Brown was doing well with the court-ordered treatment program, but ordered him to remain at the rehab facility.
The judge warned him at the time that any negative change in behavior "could dramatically change your custodial status."
It was not immediately clear when Brown will appear in court again after his latest arrest.