By Doug Davison, Houston Herald

In my weekly trips to the Texas County Justice Center to gather names of people checked in for overnight accommodations and document incidents dealt with by sheriff’s department officers, I have noticed a pattern in the behavior of criminals, suspects and even complaintants. That pattern has led me to a conclusion: there are some basic dos and don’ts with regard to attracting or avoiding the ire of the long arm of the law.

Here is a partial list in no particular order.

– If you don’t want officers discovering the pot plants growing in your backyard, don’t do something that makes one or more come looking for you at your place of residence.

– If you want an officer to believe you had something stolen, don’t leave evidence lying around that reveals you actually sold it.

– If you’re a man who goes out drinking for the day and have “violent” tendencies or anger issues, either go straight to bed when you return home or in some other way steer clear of the woman there who wonders where you’ve been all this time.

– If you’re arrested, don’t resist. You might not be found guilty of whatever you’re arrested for, but geez, you’ll definitely be found guilty of resisting (duh).

– If you’ve been read your rights and are being interviewed by an officer, don’t withhold information or lie. Just spill it, otherwise you’ll probably end up with hindering on your record even if you didn’t do anything else (again, duh).

– If there is an active warrant out for your arrest, don’t call to report an argument at your home. When an officer shows up, even if you tell him everything is OK now, he’ll still ask questions and your identity will be known (double-duh).

– Don’t keep repeating dumb things to an investigating officer who is asking you questions. Rebelliously saying things over and over like “it don’t matter” to a guy in uniform who thinks “it do matter” won’t score you any positive points.

– Don’t steal stuff and then offer to split the cash from selling it with a relative of the stuff’s owner.

– Don’t report that you’re being harassed when you’re doing equal harassing.

– Don’t report that something bad happened to you eight months ago and then explain that you waited because you “didn’t want to get the law involved.”

– Do think things through before acting, reacting, reporting or complaining. You might just benefit from it.

I’m no expert and I’m certainly not authorized to carry a Taser X26, but it seems to me that the business of law enforcement is flourishing for a lot of the wrong reasons.

But, alas, business is booming and from the looks of things there’s probably not going to be a recession any time soon.

Doug Davison is a writer, advertising representative and copy editor for the Houston Herald. E-mail