D'Amico v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Defendant was found guilty of unreasonably refusing to submit to a breath test in violation of Va. Code Ann. 18.2-268.3. Defendant appealed, arguing in large part that the State did not establish a prima facie case of unreasonable refusal against Defendant because the arresting officer’s “Declaration and Acknowledgment of Refusal” form was erroneously admitted into evidence for lack of compliance with the procedures set forth in section 18.2-268.3(B) and (C). The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction, holding (1) Defendant was not prejudiced by the admission of the refusal form, and its admission was, at most, harmless error; and (2) the circuit court did not err when it denied Defendant’s motion to strike the Commonwealth’s evidence on the theory that, absent the admission of the refusal form, the Commonwealth failed to prove the elements of the unreasonable refusal offense, as the evidence was sufficient to establish Defendant’s guilt as a matter of law.