What to do if I used really bad judgement and stole a credit card?

UPDATED: Dec 16, 2013

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What to do if I used really bad judgement and stole a credit card?

I used it twice and now I am so scared it’s not even funny. This is my first offense ever and I know that I will be caught. I can’t go to jail. I have little kids at home. should I tell the police, tell the person whose card that I used I did it and hope that I can pay them back or do I just hope that I won’t get caught? I feel horrible and dont know what to do.

Asked on December 16, 2013 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do not make this decision on your own, or even with online advice: every situation is different, and you want the advice of an expereinced attorney who can discuss the particulars of your case in detail. You are advised to retain experienced criminal defense counsel to help you.

The above said, your lawyer will most likely advise you to voluntarily come forward to the police, surrendering the card, offering to repay the person (even if it has to be over time), and setting out the circumstances of your life (e.g. small children)--that generally offers the best odds of putting this behind you. However, again do not do this without consulting with an experienced lawyer, especially one who knows the local authorities and courts.

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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