Headshot of Attorney Leon Spies

Ask Leon why he became an attorney, and he’ll tell you that the 1970s brought all kinds of intriguing political drama. Between his economy-focused college courses and the slew of controversies caused by the Nixon administration, Leon says it was hard not to see law school as a good next step.

Now, after decades as a criminal defense attorney, it’s safe to say that Leon was right in pursuing a career in law. Today, he is primarily known for two things: his incredible success rate in trial and his immaculate handlebar mustache.

Why Criminal Defense?

When someone is charged with a crime, most people tend to jump straight to judgment — but not Leon. Leon has always recognized that things are never as black and white as we might wish they could be. People make mistakes, get falsely accused, and can simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That shouldn’t prevent them from getting the best criminal defense available.

Regardless of how a person came to be put under criminal investigation, Leon believes that they deserve strong, unbiased legal representation. And that’s exactly what he provides.

My clients are in a tough spot. I give them all the facts so they have more control over their situation.

Leon’s Approach

If this is your first time going through the criminal process in Iowa, you may be wondering what to expect. With Leon, you’ll get clear answers every step of the way. Specifically, this is his approach to working with clients in your situation:

1. Explain Your Rights and Options

The more you know, the better off you’ll be as you go through your case. Leon makes sure his clients know what to expect, what options they have to choose from, and what mistakes to avoid as their case continues.

2. Develop a Game Plan

Leon has handled everything from high-profile murder cases to everyday DUI charges. He’s not one to go into a hearing or trial unprepared.

3. Follow Through and Adjust

We understand how much is at stake for our clients and will advocate in and out of court for their best possible outcome.

Notable Cases

Throughout his career, Leon has handled a number of high-profile cases, including a few that involved gang members, drug handlers, and alleged murderers. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Leon is prepared to handle just about any criminal law challenge you bring to his door, including cases that involve:

  • Assault

  • Drug crimes

  • Murder/manslaughter

  • Embezzlement

  • Theft and larceny

  • Robbery

  • Sexual assault

  • Arson

  • Criminal appeals

  • Trial work

  • Drunk driving

  • Homicide

  • White collar crime

  • Fraud

  • Burglary

  • Child pornography

  • Domestic violence

  • State and federal criminal defense

  • Administrative Law

No matter how serious or minor the criminal charges against you, Leon is here to help. Reach out today to set up a consultation.

Bar Admissions

  • Iowa, U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa and U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1975

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2000


  • J.D. - University of Iowa, 1975

  • Honors: Graduated with Distinction

  • B.B.A. - University of Iowa, 1972

    • Honors: Graduated with Distinction

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Johnson County Bar Association (Secretary, 1979-1981; Vice President, 2004-2005; President, 2005-2006)

  • Iowa State Bar Association (Member, Criminal Law Litigation Section; Board of Governors)

  • American Bar Association (Member, Committees of Ethics and Professionalism; Trial Evidence; Trial Practice; Criminal Law Litigation Section)

  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Member, Iowa State Committee)

  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers (President, 2011-2012; Vice President, 2010-2011; Board of Governors, 2004-Present)

  • Iowa Association for Justice

  • American Association for Justice

  • American Judicature Society

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

  • American Inns of Court (Master; President, Dean Mason Ladd Inn, 1995-1996)


  • Phi Eta Sigma

  • Omicron Delta Kappa