No. 9 Harrisburg, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Dauphin County, No. 714 S 1977.
Archie V. Diveglia, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Stewart L. Cohen, Harrisburg, for appellee.
Price, Beck and Johnson, JJ. Price, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 151]
This is an appeal from the denial of a motion for a new trial in a paternity suit. In the first of two civil trials (this one without a jury), appellant was found not to be the father of appellee's child. Subsequently, a Motion for a New Trial by appellee was granted. In a jury trial, appellant was found to be the father of that child.
Appellant raises four assignments of error by the lower court. Two of those contentions have merit:
(1) Appellant was prejudiced when counsel for appellee inquired during cross-examination as to a prior arrest.
(2) Appellant was prejudiced when an offer of compromise containing no explicit admission was admitted into evidence.
It is well-settled in Pennsylvania criminal cases that evidence of prior convictions may only be introduced in limited circumstances. That is, the commission of one crime will not be construed as evidence of the commission of another. Commonwealth v. Spruill, 480 Pa. 601, 605 n.2, 391 A.2d 1048 at 1050 n.2 (1978); See Commonwealth v. Fuller, 479 Pa. 353, 388 A.2d 693, 695 (1978).
This court in Commonwealth v. Smith, 240 Pa. Super. 212, 361 A.2d 862, 865 (1976), rev'd on other grounds, 477 Pa. 424, 383 A.2d 1280 (1978), discussed those convictions which may be used to impeach a witness' credibility. When any witness takes the stand, his or her credibility may be impeached by testimony of prior felonies or misdemeanors constituting crimen falsi (involving moral turpitude and reflecting dishonesty). It must be established, though, that the witness
[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 152]
was convicted and sentenced.*fn1 See U. S. v. Heckman, 479 F.2d. ...