Bobby Brown was well over the legal limit when busted for DUI this week and now faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

“He blew 0.12,” a source said Wednesday, referring to Brown’s breathalyzer test following his Monday traffic stop for talking on a cell phone.

The New Edition singer and ex-hubby of Whitney Houston was formally charged with three misdemeanors -- including driving with a suspended license -- by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Wednesday.

The other charges – driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol level greater than .08 – are essentially merged into one for purposes of potential sentencing, prosecutors said.

“His total exposure is up to a year (in jail) and $1,000 for each count,” City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan told The News.

Brown’s lawyer released a statement earlier Wednesday defending the singer's actions.

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and Mr. Brown was not driving erratically,” lawyer Tiffany Feder said. “He was speaking on his cell phone.”

Feder did not address Brown’s failed field sobriety test.

A different source in Brown’s camp claimed the singer had liquor in his system from drinking he did before he woke up Monday morning.

The source said his handlers urged him to attend an AA meeting Monday night to help his case.

“Mr. Brown has not been convicted of anything associated with this incident,” Feder continued. “Mr. Brown is taking this matter seriously, and an investigation is underway. The legal process shall run its course.”

Brown’s former mother in law Cissy Houston reportedly feels “vindicated” by the arrest because she’s been saying Brown is a bad influence on Bobbi Kristina, 18, the daughter he shares with Whitney Houston, said.

Still, Whitney Houston’s close pal Kim Burrell voiced support for Brown in an exclusive interview.

“I support Bobby, and he has my full 100% support to get better,” Burrell, the gospel singer who received a voicemail from Houston less than two hours before she died, told The News.

“He spent 17 years in a relationship and marriage with Whitney, so why wouldn’t he be going through some difficult times right now?" she said.

Burrell, who also sang at the superstar’s funeral and embraced Cissy Houston, said grieving people sometimes act without thinking clearly.

“He happens to be a public person who’s getting through a private moment, and the whole world is hearing about it,” she said. “He’s coping, and unfortunately everything is raised up a notch because of Whitney’s death.”

Brown was arrested for drunk driving in 1996 and sentenced to five days behind bars for crashing Houston’s Porsche with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit.

He served more jail time in 2000 after a court-ordered drug test showed traces of cocaine.


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