'Basketball Wives' -- Nia Crooks

Charged with Battery

for Insane Slap Attack

4/20/2012 3:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Basketball Wives" star Nia Crooks has been charged with misdemeanor battery for pimp slappin' the taste out of Jennifer Williams' mouth back in January ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for the Broward County State's Attorney's Office tells us ... officials decided to file the charge on April 10 ... after Williams filed a criminal complaint.

If convicted, Nia faces up to a year in the slammer.

During the incident, which aired on last week's episode of "Basketball Wives" -- Nia can be heard threatening to slap Jennifer ... to which Jennifer replied, "I wish you would." Her wish was granted.


4:39 PM PST --
Nia's lawyer Marc David Seitles tells TMZ ...  "We will vigorously defend Nia against these charges. The women on the show executed contracts expressly accepting the risk that a physical altercation could occur."

The lawyer adds, "Given that Jennifer herself has previously instigated fights on the show, to cry foul now is absurd and a desperate attempt for publicity and money. We will fight until Nia is vindicated."