Brown, who came to court with a group of family members, appeared downcast as he sat with his arms across his chest and his head down on the counsel table while his lawyer and a prosecutor went to the judge's chambers to discuss the case.
When they emerged, Superior Court Judge James Brandlin said he had read the file.
"In this matter, probation is revoked," he said.
Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, suggested that perhaps the matter will be resolved informally without a major probation hearing. He said the hit-and-run case would be back in court in Van Nuys on July 23.
Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray did not ask for Brown to be jailed, and the judge allowed him to remain free on his own recognizance.
Another hearing is set for Aug. 16.
The singer has been on felony probation in the 2009 beating of former girlfriend Rihanna.
Prosecutors moved to revoke Brown's probation after he was charged last month with misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a valid license.
The singer has been in and out of court since the Rihanna assault, making reports on fulfilling the requirements of his probation.
In February, the Sheriff's Department investigated a fight between Brown and singer Frank Ocean at a recording studio, but Ocean decided not to pursue a battery case against Brown. The same month, Brown crashed his Porsche while being chased by paparazzi.
Brown's most recent problem stems from a May 12 traffic accident in which he is suspected of rear-ending a car stopped at a red light in the San Fernando Valley and refusing to give the other driver his license or insurance information.
A woman in the car with Brown provided her driver's license, according to a police report that says Brown did not provide his until his lawyer had an investigator deliver an expired insurance card to the other driver several days later.
The driver of a Mercedes Benz involved in the crash told police she was a recent emigre to this country and didn't know procedures.
The woman, identified in court documents only as Olga G., said she called her husband to find out what to do and was told to exchange driver's licenses and insurance identification.
At first, she said Brown was polite. But as she continued to demand identification, a confrontation arose, she said in court documents.
She said Brown's companion, identified as Karrueche Tientrese Tran, offered her driver's license and said the car belonged to her.
In her written statement, the woman said when Brown refused to provide his identification, she took a picture of the couple "and then they went ballistic."
She said Brown began shouting expletives and grabbed for her camera.
"I jumped back, the girl screamed, 'Don't touch her. Don't touch her,'" she said.
"I was so shocked that I was speechless," she said in the statement. "Just a moment ago he was a nice guy. After screaming some insulting nonsense for a while longer, he slammed a door and drove away fast and noisy."
The woman didn't know the identity of the man who hit her car until a friend called and told her after seeing a report on the Internet.
Brown won a Grammy in 2011 for Best R&B Album with "F.A.M.E."