Local D.W.I. Attorney: Pinkel Took Control of Charges

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Many people are shocked that University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel's DWI case is already decided - with his sentence handed out - not even 48 hours after his arrest. Some people are claiming that a "regular" person wouldn't be able to do that, but one local attorney says that's not true.

They could, he says, it's just that most people in that situation don't.

Attorney Paul Burmaster says about 80-percent of his clients face a D.W.I. offense, something he says is more common than some may think.

"Very common.  I've represented doctors and lawyers, police officers, federal agents, CEOs, airline pilots, trash truck drivers, everybody," said Burmaster.

One thing that's not common is a more than $300,000 price tag the for an offense, like Coach Pinkel got from the university, but D.W.I.'s aren't cheap, even for first offenses.  They'll still run the average person approximately $4,000 depending on the circumstances.

That doesn't include the emotional or social toll.

"There is a certain stigma, but most people aren't going to know about it.  For Coach Pinkel, lots of people are going to know about this," said Burmaster.

Burmaster adds that Pinkel took charge of the situation by getting the case taken care of right away.

"The average Joe could do it, but probably wouldn't have the resources to do it," he adds.

Pinkel was likely able to because he can afford to pay attorney fees up front and he was able to quickly decide how he'd plea his case.  As for Pinkel's sentence, Burmaster says that it's standard for a first offender.

"There usually isn't jail time for a first offense," he explains.

And while not involved in Pinkel's case, Burmaster says from what he can tell  there's no favoritism .

"If someone was hurt, and he got this sort of deal, that would be favoritism," he says.

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