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While experienced criminal defense attorneys are essential to your success, you may run into various ways in which attorneys wish to be paid their fees.

Criminal lawyers may charge a flat fee for something like a basic DUI, or they may charge an hourly rate that requires a substantial down payment. If you're a repeat offender or facing charges that are likely to go to trial, you may be looking at some steep attorney's fees.

Don't fret though, criminal defense attorney's fees can be easy to understand with these principles:

A Florida woman who fired a warning shot at her abusive husband will not receive a pretrial "Stand Your Ground" hearing in her assault case, a judge has ruled.

Marissa Alexander, 33, was hoping the judge would take into account Florida's new law extending "Stand Your Ground" to warning shots in granting her a pretrial self-defense hearing. Reuters reports that Alexander, whose original conviction in 2012 was overturned on appeal, had her claim of self-defense rejected during her first trial as well.

With Florida's new law in place, why is Alexander being denied a pretrial "Stand Your Ground" hearing?

Today (July 14) is National Nude Day, and everyone has different standards when it comes to how comfortable they are with public nudity. However, no matter what your personal preference may be, public nudity run afoul of your state's indecent exposure laws.

Though indecent exposure laws vary from state to state, they generally prohibit exposing a person's genitals in public, causing alarm or offense to others. In some states, intentional exposure of one's privates in public can also lead to a charge of public lewdness.

But when can public nudity fall short of being "indecent" or "lewd" in the eyes of the law? Here are three potential defenses to an indecent exposure or lewdness charge:

A former New York City police officer -- dubbed the "cannibal cop" after his online postings about wanting to kidnap, murder, and cook women led to his arrest -- was released from jail Tuesday after his conspiracy conviction was overturned.

A federal judge threw out 30-year-old Gilberto Valle's conviction, ordered him to be released on bond, and granted him a new trial. Prosecutors say they will appeal.

Why did the judge reverse the jury's conviction?

Hipsters are filtering into every aspect of urban life, even criminal juries. In fact, some New York City defense attorneys have begun to notice a disturbing trend: that well-off, educated white people are slowly gentrifying Brooklyn's jury pool.

Some worry that these "hipster jurors" are bad news for criminal defendants. But is a jury of privileged young people really that bad?

Representing yourself in court may seem like an attractive option, but you should weigh the pros and cons before stepping into court on your own.

While not hiring an attorney for your criminal case may save you money and give you a sense of pride, you leave yourself -- a rank amateur -- to navigate the legal corridors of the criminal justice system. And if you falter, it won't just be embarrassing; it may cost you your freedom.

Consider these pros and cons before choosing to represent yourself in criminal court:

An Alabama law that effectively acted as a gay-sex ban has been struck down by a state appeals court.

Responding to a criminal appeal by Dewayne Williams, a man who was charged with sexual misconduct for allegedly having consensual sex with another man, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals struck down the statute and threw out Williams' conviction, reports USA Today.

Alabama is one of a dozen states with gay-sex bans still on the books. So why did the court rule against the law?

An Iowa man's criminal conviction for HIV transmission was thrown out by the Iowa Supreme Court on grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support his guilty plea.

Nick Rhoades, 39, of Plainfield, pleaded guilty in 2009 to criminal transmission of HIV after having sex with a man he met online. He allegedly did not tell his partner about his HIV status before the encounter, and although the man was ultimately not infected, he still went to the police, report The Associated Press.

What made Iowa's High Court throw out Rhoades' conviction?

As summer hits full tilt, beach blankets, sandals, and ice cold coolers will be making their ways to the shore. But police may want to search that last one.

Beachgoers in New York City have reported being asked to let roving cops see what's in their coolers. Cops may be looking for alcohol or open containers, but you still have rights.

So can police search your cooler at the beach?

Missing a court date is never a good idea, especially in a DUI case.

There are any number of reasons or excuses you might give for missing a DUI court date -- oversleeping, dealing with a sick child, or moving to another state, etc. -- but without the right legal help, these justifications won't amount to much.

So what should you do if you miss your DUI court date?