An appeal was made by the defendant from a judgment of the Queens County Supreme Court convicting her of forgery in the second degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.
The trial court, after conducting a Molineux hearing, did not improvidently exercise its discretion in permitting the prosecutor to present at trial evidence of the defendant’s prior conviction of attempted forgery. The conviction was clearly probative of the defendant’s intent to knowingly forge the instruments in this case. Further, the trial court properly weighed the relevant factors of probative value and prejudicial effect in reaching its determination.
Similarly, the trial court did not improvidently exercise its discretion in permitting the People to cross-examine the defendant, in the event that she testified, as to her prior convictions of attempted forgery, petit larceny and attempted petit larceny, as well as the underlying facts of the attempted forgery conviction. A defendant may be cross-examined as to the existence of prior criminal acts where the nature of such conduct or the circumstances in which it occurred, bear logically and reasonably on the issue of credibility. Further, the commission of crimes involving individual dishonesty, such as theft, fraud and forgery demonstrate the defendant’s willingness to place [her] own interests ahead of the interests of society, thereby impacting directly upon the issue of the defendant’s credibility. The mere fact that the prior crime is similar to the crime charged is not a basis for the preclusion of the evidence since a defendant who specializes in one particular type of crime is not shielded from cross-examination thereon. In the present case, it is clear that the defendant’s convictions of crimes involving individual dishonesty were highly probative on the issue of her credibility. Moreover, inasmuch as the trial court carefully weighed the probative value of the evidence against the potential for prejudice to the defendant, we discern no basis for disturbing its compromise ruling.