What should my domestic partner do about using a credit card he found?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What should my domestic partner do about using a credit card he found?

He used a card he found on the street and now
he is being sought for fraud what does he
need to do?

Asked on December 21, 2016 under Criminal Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

He needs to get an attorney: what he did is a crime (credit card fraud; also theft, since he  was using someone else's money, or stealing it) as well as something he could be sued for (by the person whose card it was, if they had to pay any of his charges; by the credit card company, if they absorbed the charges or loss; etc.). There is no legal justification for using a credit card you found on the street; unlike found cash, which is anonymous and untraceable (i.e. you can't necessarily return it to the owner, since you can't identify the owner), there is *no* doubt but that a credit card, which lists the card holder's name, belongs to another and therefore you are spending another person's money without permission. The best he can hope for is to minimize his guilt by offering to repay the amounts, by expressing contrition, but in some convincing way explaining why he thought this was ok, etc. An experienced atttorney will know  best how to do these things and get him the lease punisment realistically possible.

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