James M. Polyak, Esq.

Andrea E. Mertz, Esq.

Criminal Defense Attorneys
25 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 has 25 years of experience defending the rights of those charged with criminal offenses in Berks County. He specializes in criminal defense in the courts of Berks County. He is a graduate of Penn State University 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 17 years of experience defending the rights of those charged with criminal offenses in Berks County. She does so with persistence, passion and principle. She has dedicated her law practice to representing clients charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes including Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Robbery, Theft, Rape, Firearms offenses, Drug violations, and DUI. Through her advocacy skills, she has earned a reputation for being an aggressive trial attorney, successfully defending her clients' rights from the Preliminary Hearing through trial. She combines her extensive 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. Ms. Mertz is extremely active and respected in the Berks County legal community, and serves as the Co-Chairman of both the Criminal Defense Section and the Criminal Law Section of the Berks County Bar Association.  She is also an active member of the Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Association of Lawyers. Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates named her a Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pennsylvania. She currently maintains a “Superb” rating from the attorney rating website AVVO.com and recently received the “Client’s Choice” award from AVVO.com in the areas of DUI and Criminal defense.