By: Brian M. Latuga
Perhaps you haven’t broken any criminal or traffic laws since your DUI or Reckless Driving conviction. But now, your front door is decorated with a summons from your local court for a “Good Behavior Violation- Failure to Comply with ASAP.” What does this mean, and what do you do next?
After you are convicted of a First or Second DUI, or Reckless Driving involving alcohol, the court may order you into the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, (also referred to as “VASAP” or “ASAP”). An ignition interlock will be required if you were granted a restricted operator’s license. The court has likely suspended a portion of your fine and/or jail time as a condition of your Good Behavior period. A violation of ASAP can result in the revocation of some or all of your privilege to drive or to remain free.
ASAP acts very much like a probation officer - or a very strict parent. ASAP will test you for drugs and alcohol, mandate you to take classes, and require AA or NA attendance. ASAP monitors your compliance and violations are quickly reported to the court.
Failure to follow the rules of ASAP will trigger two separate violations of law. A violation of ASAP alone results in the potential for the revocation of your restricted license privilege. But, there is a significantly greater impact when you are simultaneously charged with a Good Behavior Violation. Overall, a violation of the terms of your Good Behavior can result in the revocation of your suspended fine, jail time or both.
The Summons or Capias
First, look at the court date for your “Show Cause” summons. You must appear on that date. Or, if you act quickly and retain counsel then your attorney will instruct you whether to appear. What if you fail to appear or hire an attorney? The court will dismiss the Show Cause summons. This is not good news. A “Capias” will be issued for your arrest. You should consider consulting with and hiring counsel as soon as you learn of your alleged violation of ASAP. If you discover that a Capias has been issued then consult and hire an attorney immediately in the event you require a hearing on your bond or bail status.
The Court Date and the Burden of Proof
Unfortunately, your guilt does not need to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The government (federal) or the Commonwealth (state) need only show “good cause” to revoke your sentence or your license. The judge will hold a hearing and ask you whether you admit or deny the allegations. The judge may find you in compliance and dismiss the charge, or the judge may find you in violation and impose as little or as much of the suspended jail time or fine as the judge finds appropriate. Your suspended jail time may be revoked for any cause the court deems sufficient.
For instance, if you were sentenced on your DUI to 365 days in jail with 355 suspended, then you initially served 10 active days in jail. The judge may now put you in jail for up to 355 days on an ASAP Violation.
Every case is unique and carries with it the full weight of your previously suspended sentence. A lawyer can help you in your ASAP Violation case. There are any number of reasons that you can be violated. And there are a multitude of attacks an experienced attorney can make against these accusations. “Good Cause” for a violation may include: positive or missed drug and alcohol tests; failure to attend treatment; or, failure to abide by any rules of ASAP or of the Ignition Interlock provider.
The possible outcomes of these violations can be more devastating than the underlying charge for which you are in ASAP. If you have a new alcohol-related charge or a positive ignition interlock violation then you are at an even greater risk of having your suspended jail sentence imposed. Local courts take these violations very seriously and frequently impose active jail time. Additionally, a conviction will result in a new criminal charge on your record, an extended good behavior time and possibly extended probation time with ASAP.
It is imperative that you consult with an attorney familiar with these types of charges before entering the courtroom. By no means is this a full legal analysis of ASAP violations. This short article is not legal advice nor should be considered legal advice. The sole purpose is to shed some light on ASAP violations generally.
 Va. Codes 18.2-266, 18.2-270
 Va. Code 46.2-852
 Va. Code 18.2-271.1, 46.2-391, 18.2-270.1, or 46.2-391.01
 Va. Code 18.2-271.1 (F)
 Va. Code 19.2-306