chris brown (boxing pose)*Chris Brown, sensing his freedom is threatened because of his arrest in Washington on Sunday, has entered a rehab facility for anger management issues.

“Chris Brown has elected to enter a rehab facility,” said a statement Tuesday night from his representative. “His goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point.”

Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, transported him to a facility near Los Angeles earlier today and as TMZ points out, the move doesn’t come a day too soon.

The L.A. County probation department is going pedal to the metal in its investigation to determine if Brown violated his probation in the Rihanna case by getting arrested in D.C. over the weekend … after allegedly punching a guy in the nose.

Sources tell TMZ, Brown flew to L.A. after getting released from the D.C. jail and met with L.A. County Probation Department officials today.

We’re told it’s likely the Probation Department will determine that Brown violated his probation, and a judge could sentence him to as much as 4 years in prison.

The rehab move could show a measure of good faith and contrition.

Going to rehab could allow Attorney Geragos to argue that the entertainer is getting proper help for his core problem.

He better hope and pray they go for it.