What to do if I had permission to use a credit card only for emergencies only but I used it way to much and racked up a $4000 bill?

Now the card holder is mad and wants to press charges. Can I be in trouble even though I had permission?

Asked on June 28, 2014 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could potentially face criminal liability (e.g. charges) if any of the uses were not for an "emergency"--for example, they were to buy dinner in a restaurant, buy electronics, buy movie tickets, buy clothing (unless you can show you were stranded somewhere without clothing and it was an emergency), etc.--in those cases, you would have clearly gone beyond your permission.

If you can make out a case that you legitimately thought at the time--even if you were wrong--that the uses were emergency uses, AND it would be reasonable to have thought that (for example: it would *not* be reasonable to think that buying drinks in a bar is an "emergency" use), you would likely not face criminal liability, but could still be sued by the card holder for all the amounts you charged.


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