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It’s the happiest time of year, the song says. The holiday season is jolly and merry and bright. At least that is how it is portrayed in stories. For many couples going through difficult times in their relationships, the holidays can bring added stress and pressure — and arguments.

A Tennessee police officer is on paid administrative leave after his Christmas Day arrest for simple domestic assault. As you know, state law says that a conviction on the charge can result in a year of jail time.

In too many domestic violence cases, the person charged is often assumed to be guilty unless he or she can prove himself or herself innocent. That is often how family, friends, employers and others look at it.

In the case of the 34-year-old Chattanooga cop arrested on Christmas, the day apparently began with an effort by him to make the day a good one for his children. A news report states that he went to his estranged wife’s home to watch their kids open gifts. But an argument soon began, the report says.

She said he grabbed her during the argument and pushed her into a cabinet. Her uncle was apparently at the home at the time.

Responding officers later reported that the officer’s wife had red marks on her neck a cut on her lip. She also had a bruise on her forehead and one on a foot.

When the officers asked why she waited hours before calling police, she said she had dropped the kids off with her mother and then returned home before calling.

It is unlikely that anyone wanted to spend Christmas that way.

For the person arrested, it is important that they speak as soon as possible with an attorney experienced in domestic violence defense; someone who knows the law and how to protect your rights, freedom and career.