James M. Polyak, Esq.

Andrea E. Mertz, Esq.

Criminal Defense Attorneys
24 years of experience in the
Criminal Courts of Berks County


645 Penn Street

Suite 500

Reading, PA 19601


Tel. 610-376-5250

Reading, PA attorney James Polyak specializes in criminal defense. He is a graduate of Penn State and Widener University School of Law. After law school, he completed his internship at The Berks County District Attorney's Office in Reading, PA in 1992, and was hired as an Assistant District Attorney, where he prosecuted crimes including Homicide, Robbery, Rape, Burglary, Drug Possession, Theft, Assault and DUI. In 1994, he was promoted to Chief Prosecutor of the Child Abuse Unit of the District Attorney's Office. After gaining valuable experience as a prosecuting attorney in Reading, PA, Mr. Polyak left the District Attorney's Office to specialize in criminal defense. Since that time, he has represented thousands of clients charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes in Pennsylvania. He has been lead trial counsel in more than 100 criminal jury trials, including death penalty cases. He has never had a client sentenced to the death penalty. He appears frequently in United States District Court, handling complex federal criminal litigation. No other criminal defense attorney in Reading, PA has handled more criminal jury trials in United States District Court than Mr. Polyak. Since 1994, he has been a member of The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a former Criminal Law Instructor at Reading Area Community College and the Reading Police Academy. He is the former Chairman of the Berks County Bar Association Criminal Law Committee.

Attorney Andrea E. Mertz has eighteen years of experience defending the rights of those criminally accused with persistence, passion and principles. Ms. Mertz has dedicated her law practice to DUI defense and to representing clients accused of major felonies such as Aggravated Assault and cases involving misdemeanor offenses such as theft and drug crimes. Ms. Mertz focused her career to criminal defense work, joining the Berks County Office of the Public Defender. In 2009, she left the Office of the Public Defender to take her skills to the private sector. Through her advocacy skills, Ms. Mertz has earned a reputation for being an aggressive trial court attorney successfully defending her clients' rights. She combines her trial experience and knowledge of the court system with a personal commitment to her clients in order to offer zealous representation in a supportive environment. Extremely active in the legal community, Ms. Mertz serves as the Co-Chair to the Criminal Defense Section and the Criminal Law Section of the Berks County Bar Association. Recently, The American Society of Legal Advocates named her a Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pennsylvania. She has also earned accolades including a Superb Rating from AVVO, which is the highest level an attorney can obtain. Ms. Mertz also received the client’s choice award from AVVO in the areas of DUI defense and Criminal Defense.