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(TMZ) - Chris Brown pulled a fast one Monday ... turning himself in at an L.A. jail for his hit-and-run case - a day ahead of schedule, TMZ reports.

TMZ has learned that Brown showed up at the Van Nuys jail at around 2 PM.  His lawyer, Mark Geragos, engineered it all and the purpose was to make it happen without any photogs present.

According to TMZ, Brown was booked and released on his own recognizance - no bail. The whole thing took around 45 minutes.

Now here's what's interesting ... Just a few hours earlier, there was a gaggle of photogs at the courthouse which is connected to the jail, because 50 Cent made a court appearance.  When the cameras were gone, Chris appeared.

Sneaky, Geragos.


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