• Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

    Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

  • Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

    Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders


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Criminal Law

Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. has grown to become the largest criminal defense firm in Southwest Washington. The firm has public contracts to represent indigent defendants in felony and misdemeanor cases and also represents privately retained clients.

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New on the Barrar Law blog...

Haggerty, Saraceno win District Court trial

Attorneys Eliza Haggerty and Nick Saraceno won a trial Oct. 13 in Clark County District Court for a client accused of denting a car door.

The client was charged with malicious mischief in the third degree, a gross misdemeanor.

He was cited in 2021 after the alleged victim called 911 and reported that she saw him intentionally ram the door of his van into the door of her Ford Escape and then drive away. The client and alleged victim lived in the same apartment complex, where the client was employed as a maintenance worker.

A Vancouver police officer photographed two indents on the front passenger side door of the alleged victim’s vehicle and questioned the client, who said he may have accidentally made contact with the Ford Escape because there wasn’t much space between the vehicles. He said he did not cause any damage and refused to exchange his insurance information with the alleged victim.

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Pitts wins DV trial in District Court

Attorney Taylor Pitts won an acquittal Aug. 24 in Clark County District Court for a client charged with domestic violence assault.

The alleged victim -- the client’s girlfriend and the mother of his two children -- did not show up for the trial. Since she did not show up to testify, the statement she wrote for police officers detailing the assault was not admissible.

The client was arrested April 23 after his 8-year-old stepson called 911 and said his dad had punched his mother. The client got on the phone with the dispatcher and said he’d been trying to leave the residence and his girlfriend wouldn’t let him leave.

Officers from the Vancouver Police Department responded and determined the client was the aggressor in the fight. They photographed the alleged victim’s injuries but did not photograph the client’s injuries. The client was charged with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

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Quick acquittal in domestic violence trial

A jury needed only 20 minutes to reach a “not guilty” verdict in a recent domestic violence case in Clark County District Court.

Attorneys Devin Higgins and Amber Cognata won the Oct. 5 trial for a client accused of assaulting her ex-boyfriend. She was charged with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

A video of the July 17 incident, filmed by the alleged victim’s adult daughter, showed our client and her ex arguing about infidelity. The alleged victim got splashed with water off-camera, and then our client appeared to make a slapping motion toward her ex’s face.

The alleged victim’s daughter called 911. When Clark County Sheriff’s deputies arrived he told them he did not want to be a victim and he did not want his ex-girlfriend to get into trouble. A deputy who viewed the video explained that under the state’s mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence he had no choice but to arrest our client.

At trial, the alleged victim said he was hit in the back of the head. Before he was hit, he said he had been calling his ex a whore, a cheating slut and a bitch. He said he hadn’t wanted law enforcement involved and didn’t tell his daughter to call 911. He also said that before our client showed up at his house he told her he was going to “destroy” her.

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Location, location, location

Neil Anderson and Marina Spencer won a trial in Clark County Superior Court for a client charged with one count of rape of a child in the first degree and two counts of child molestation in the first degree.

The jury returned the unanimous “not guilty” verdict on Aug. 18 after 5 ½ hours of deliberation.

Afterward, jurors said they didn’t even get around to discussing the details of the allegations. They didn’t make it that far because they couldn’t even agree the state had proved what is typically a very easy hurdle for the state to clear: jurisdiction.

The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office can only prosecute crimes committed in Clark County. During the four-day trial, none of the state’s witnesses identified a location in Clark County where the alleged abuse occurred.

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Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
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