For many Amherst residents, the first time they hear about the right to remain silent is on television or in a movie. While being read the Miranda rights is properly depicted in several of these shows, they often neglect to accurately portray the fact that waiving those rights can happen unintentionally. Understanding how this happens and learning how to avoid it could come in handy one day.
Amherst residents do have the right to stay quiet and to talk to an attorney, but most people are not aware of how to invoke those rights properly. A person can't just stay quiet and expect that to be enough. It is important that an individual clearly and explicitly let authorities know that he or she does not want to talk and wishes to speak with an attorney.
From that moment forward, that person should not answer any questions or provide any information to authorities. Answering even one question could inadvertently waive these important rights. An individual should also be careful not to sign anything that could waive his or her rights. Of course, all of this assumes that police read the Miranda rights to the individual and made sure that he or she understood them.
Unknowingly waiving Miranda rights could end up jeopardizing a person's case. If there is any question as to what would cause an inadvertent loss of those rights, it would more than likely be better just to stay quiet until an attorney arrives. One more thing that people should know is rights can be invoked again if the accused makes a mistake. Gaining a complete understanding of the rights, know how to invoke them and learn how to keep from waiving them could prove invaluable.