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Russell Brand

Booked for a FELONY!!!

3/16/2012 10:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The Russell Brand Mug Shot
Russell Brand was NOT arrested for a misdemeanor yesterday ... turns out it was a FELONY, and the late Steve Jobs may be to blame.

We did some digging and just found out ... in Louisiana property damage that exceeds $500 triggers a felony arrest.

You'll recall, Brand allegedly snatched a photog's iPhone Monday night and hurled it through a plate glass window.  The iPhone alone costs more than $500.

Here's the irony ... Russell tweeted a few days ago, "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."

Steve Jobs famously believed he could charge a lot for the iPhone -- and did.  And now Russell is paying dearly for it.

The felony -- simple criminal damage -- is punishable by a maximum of 2 years in prison.

Now prosecutors must decide whether to go forward and file felony charges.

Stay tuned...

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