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?

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2014

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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