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Michael J. Upton, Attorney at Law

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama criminal defense lawyer

  • Criminal Defense
  • DUI & DWI
  • Alcohol law
  • Drug Posession
  • Drug Control Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Traffic Tickets
  • Violent Crimes

For 24 years, I've defended cases in every Tuscaloosa court, including 23 Capital Murder cases. I specialize in defending U of A Students.

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Michael J. Upton Photo

Michael J. Upton

I was born and raised in Flomaton, Alabama, a small town situated on the Florida line directly north of Pensacola. After graduating high school in 1983, I attended Jefferson Davis Junior College, where I obtained an Associate's Degree, was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honorary, and played on the baseball team.

In the fall of 1985, I enrolled at The University of Alabama. I worked on the Alabama Football staff as a student equipment manager for three seasons before graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education. I subsequently enrolled at The University of Alabama School of Law, where I obtained a Juris Doctor degree.

After practicing law in Tuscloosa for several years, I moved to Puerto Rico on a two year teaching contract, where I taught Jr. High English at Guamani Private School in Guyama. I especially enjoyed the travel experiences in the Caribbean during that period of my life.

Upon returning to Tuscaloosa in 1998, I opened my own law office and have specialized in Criminal Defense and DUI Defense for almost 20 years.

My approach to practicing law has been always consistent: not only do I represent my clients, I also represent the legal system to the best of my abilities. I have always respected the importance of court procedures, the law (including our Constitution) and the importance of earning credibility with Judges, other attorneys, and court staff alike.

From 2001-2008, I served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. In 2010 was presented with the ACDLA President’s Award, and in 2014 received an ACDLA Merit Award. I have authored materials and have lectured at the ACDLA 4 Corners seminar. From 2004-2008, I was a member of the statewide planning committee for ABICLE’s yearly Criminal Defense Seminar. I was one of 75 attorneys initially named to represent indigent defendants in Federal Court as a member of the CJA Panel. I have also served on the Criminal Practice and Procedure Committee of the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association.

In 2016, I was a Candidate for Tuscaloosa County District Court Judge. Even though I didn’t win, I’m extremely proud and humbled that a small town guy who moved here for college in 1985, and didn’t know a soul, was able to garner 9,000 votes!

I am a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church and serve on the Board of Directors of the Red Elephant Club. I previously served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters (was also a Big Brother), United Way, and Easter Seals, and am a donor to several charities including the RISE program, the Community Soup Bowl, and West Alabama Food Bank.

My wife Melanie and I have 7 children. Five are between the ages of 12 and 16: Drew, Harper, Zach, Anabelle & Ellie Reese, and our twin toddlers Foster & Finley were born July, 2015. We also have a lab, a german shepherd, and two cats that think they’re dogs.

In my spare time (which, I'll admit is rare...) I enjoy playing golf, watching Alabama Football and I like to cook, especially Southern food.

  • J.D.
    University of Alabama School of Law
    1992
  • B.S.E.
    University of Alabama
    1989
  • A.S.
    Jefferson Davis College
    1985
  • Board of Directors
    Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
    2000 - 2007
  • Member
    Alabama State Bar
    1993 - Present
  • Member
    National College of DUI Defense
    2015 - Present
  • Member
    Tuscaloosa County Bar Association
    2017 - Present
  • President's Award
    Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
    2010 - 2010
  • Merit Award
    Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
    2014 - 2014
410 20th Avenue
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
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(205) 799-3800
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