• 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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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...

Anderson, Kauffman win felony assault trial

Attorneys Neil Anderson and Katie Kauffman won a trial Nov. 28 for a client accused of first-degree assault in the February 2021 shooting of a Vancouver man in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

The client, who has been in custody since the incident on $300,000 bail, was acquitted on all charges and released from the Clark County Jail after Anderson and Kauffman successfully argued that the shooting was in self-defense.

A jury returned the verdicts after deliberating approximately three hours.

Jurors heard testimony last week before the Thanksgiving holiday, and then returned to court Nov. 28 for closing arguments and deliberations.

The client was initially charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors amended the charge down to first-degree assault, a class A felony, with a firearm enhancement less than a month before trial. He was also charged with drive-by shooting, a class B felony. If convicted he faced between 14 and 17 years in prison.

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Back-to-back wins for Askanas

Isabelle Askanas got a back-to-back wins in Clark County District Court last week. On Sept. 8 she got a client acquitted of assault and malicious mischief and on Sept. 9 she won a quick not-guilty verdict for a client charged with racing.

Askanas and Eliza Haggerty represented a client who was cited last year by a Clark County sheriff’s deputy who had been parked near Northeast 55th Avenue and Northeast Padden Parkway. About 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2021, the deputy wrote that two vehicles passed him traveling east on Padden Parkway “at a high rate of speed.” Both vehicles stopped at a red light, with the deputy now behind them. The deputy wrote that when the light turned green, “both vehicles’ wheels squeeled and the vehicles accelerated in a speed contest.”

The deputy pulled over both drivers and cited each for racing, a type of reckless driving, which is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

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Swisher wins District Court bench trial

Attorney Matthew Swisher won a bench trial Oct. 27 for a client charged with physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

Clark County District Court Judge Chad Sleight acquitted Swisher’s client of the charge, ruling that Swisher had proven his client had been safely off the roadway at the time of his arrest.

Swisher’s client was arrested in 2021 after a Cowlitz Tribal Police officer noticed a car in the parking lot of the Cowlitz Crossing convenience store that was not in a parking space. It was 4 a.m. and the officer saw a male asleep in the driver’s seat. The officer could also see empty bottles of alcohol in the front passenger seat. The officer knocked on the driver’s window and asked the client to step out of the vehicle. He said when the man got out of the vehicle and spoke to him he could smell the odor of intoxicants and observed the man’s bloodshot, watery eyes, flushed face and slurred speech.

The client admitted he had been drinking. He refused to perform field sobriety tests.

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Askanas, Swisher win District Court trial

Isabelle Askanas and Matthew Swisher won a trial Sept. 8 for a client charged with misdemeanor assault and malicious mischief.

A Clark County District Court jury deliberated about 40 minutes before returning not-guilty verdicts on charges of fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief, both gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail.

At the time of his arrest, the client was living in the alleged victim’s house. She was upset that he had a friend over and went to his bedroom to ask him when he was going to move out. She said the client got upset and shoved her so hard she fell down and got hurt. She also said he broke off a door knob, which was why he was charged with malicious mischief.

At the time of the client’s arrest, the homeowner told police officers that she had wanted the client to move out of her house and she even hesitated acknowledging that he had been living there because she knew that if he had established residency it would be more difficult to get him to move out. One officer even noted that both the client and alleged victim appeared to be giving “self-serving” statements about what happened.

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