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About Me

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, he was hired by The Berks County District Attorney as a full time Assistant District Attorney, where he prosecuted crimes including 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 misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses in Reading, PA. 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.



Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 70%
    23 years
  2. DUI & DWI: 30%
    23 years



Retainer (Always), Free Consultation (60 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

5 total 

  • Daniel Patrick Emkey

    I endorse this lawyer. Jim is one of the best trial attorneys around.


    Daniel Emkey Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Emily Beth Cherniack

    Jim is one of Berks County's best! He is a fighter in the courtroom and is knowledgeable in both civil and criminal matters. He obtains amazing results in his cases. I would not hesitate to refer a case to him.


    Emily Cherniack Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact Info

645 Penn St Ste 500
Reading, PA, 19601



Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
BV DistinguishedMartindale-Hubbel2010
Board of DirectorsBerks Pre-trial Services2003
Accommodation for BraveryPa. Governor Tom Ridge1999
Dedicated ServiceBerks County District Attorney1994
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Criminal Defense AttorneyPolyak Law Office1994 - Present
Criminal Law Commitee ChairmanBerks County Bar Association2004 - 2008
Assistant District AttorneyBerks County District Attorney's Office1992 - 1994
Association NamePosition NameDuration
United States District Court Magistrate Judge Reappointment CommitteeAttorney Member2011 - 2011
Federal Criminal Justice Act PanelAttorney Member2003 - Present
Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense LawyersAttorney Member1994 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersAttorney Member1994 - Present
Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Commonwealth of PA vs. S.L. - Docket No. CR-0000120-2014All charges dismissed at first court hearing
Commonwealth of Pa. vs. M.L. - Docket No. CR-0000021-2014Case dismissed at first court hearing
Commonwealth of PA vs. R.M. - Docket No. CR-0000133-2014Case dismissed at second court hearing
See all Legal Cases 
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg PALawJD - Juris Doctor1992
Pennsylvania State UniversityOperations ManagementBS - Bachelor of Science1989
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Criminal Law CommiteeCriminal Law Appeallate Case Review2010
Criminal Law CommitteeDUI Law2009
Criminal Law CommitteeDUI Sentencing Law2008