What should I do regarding possible gift card theft trouble?
Question Details: I found a gift card on the corner of my road as I was leaving for work. I spent the gift card thinking it was my lucky day. I later found out the card belonged to my ex-roommate who reported it stolen. She has had large amounts of money stolen recently and will think it was all me I believe. There was a police report made and I believe they are trying to access the store's security footage.
We cannot advise you what to do or not do in this case, since that would be practicing law on your behalf (advising what you should do in a specific legal context). What we can do is explain that:
1) You are certainly responsible to pay back the ex-roommate, assuming she can show or establish the card was hers: you cannot take another's money or property simply because you found it.
2) If there is evidence strongly suggesting that you did steal the card (even if you in fact did not), such as you having access to where she had kept it, you and your ex having "bad blood" between you (giving you motive), other items or money having been stolen when you lived with her (so showing a pattern involving you) you could face criminal charges. The authorities do not know what did in fact happen--they only know what the evidence suggests.