Driscoll v. Commonwealth
In Driscoll v. Commonwealth, 14 Va. App. 449, 417 S.E.2d 312 (1992), the Court recognized that "an appellate court may affirm the judgment of a trial court when it has reached the right result for the wrong reason." Id. at 452, 417 S.E.2d at 313.
The Court also noted that the "right result, wrong reason" rule does not apply where "the correct reason for affirming the trial court was not raised in any manner at trial" and "where, because the trial court has rejected the right reason or confined its decision to a specific ground, further factual resolution is needed before the right reason may be assigned to support the trial court's decision." Id. at 452, 417 S.E.2d at 313-14.
On appeal, we may affirm on grounds different from those on which the trial court based its decision so long as the issue was addressed at trial, evidence exists in the record to support those alternate grounds, the trial judge's decision does not reject those grounds, and no further factual resolution is necessary to support the decision. See Driscoll, 14 Va. App. at 452, 417 S.E.2d at 314.