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James Matthew Polyak

Criminal defense Attorney at Reading, PA

5.0   19 reviews
  • State Years
    New Jersey - NJ 3 years
    Pennsylvania - PA 31 years
  • Licensed for 3 years
    State NJ
    Acquired 2020
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 31 years
    State PA
    Acquired 1992
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    Homicide, Manslaughter, Rape, Burglary, Robbery, Assault, Firearms, Drugs, Theft

    31 years

  2. DUI and DWI
    DUI, DWI, DUI Homicide

    31 years

  3. Federal crime
    White Collar, Tax Fraud, Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, RICO, Firearms, Drugs.

    31 years

Attorney James Polyak has more than 25 years of courtroom experience and specializes in criminal defense and DUI defense. 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 is a former Chairman of the Berks County Bar Association Criminal Law Committee.

Photos and videos

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Polyak Law Office
645 Penn Street
Suite 500
Reading, PA, 19601

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5.0 / 5.0
  19 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Jorge | September 2, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Expierenced and Professional Lawyer
I hired Mr. Polyak to represent myself in a legal matter. Upon meeting Mr. Polyak for a consultation he was very eager to learn about all aspects of the case and was very forthcoming with what he thought he was able to accomplish for my. After agreeing to take my case, Mr. Polyak and his staff were very helpful, in explaining the court process and rescheduling my court dates to make it easier for me and to prevent as much loss of work for the appointments as possible. On the day of court, he arrived early and spoke to me about the case one last time and told me what to expect and how to handle myself in the courtroom. With Mr. Polyak's experience he was able to get all the charges levied against me dropped, which was the best outcome possible. Mr. Polyak knows his stuff and will prove it for you to.
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Posted by anonymous | March 24, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer in Pennsylvania
Where do I even start James Matthew Polyak is by far the best lawyer in Berks County and the surrounding areas. His skill set is unmatched he is willing to go above and beyond and do his due diligence to get the best results for all his client's. He is resilient, decided, determined and well connected. Once you meet Mr. Polyak you will get a sense of comfort and trust not only that he is straight forward and honest! I have hired Mr. Polyak on several occasion and every time was nothing short of great, he has not only saved my life but also my career for that I am forever grateful. if you're looking for a highly skilled professional that will accommodate your services you've found him.
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Posted by anonymous | March 23, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney Polyak helped me get the best results possible for my case. He was very knowledgeable and helped me find the best solution for me. He is experienced in the field.
Posted by Douglass | April 29, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Old misdemeanor warrant
Spoke to a few lawyers about this matter went with him Polyak and He handle case swiftly with no issues and got all charges Dropped went beyond expectations you don't need any lawyer you need polyak!!!
Posted by Josh | November 5, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best in the business!
I have use Mr. Polyak on two different occasions that could have been life changing events for me. I feel like Mr. Polyak pulls no punches and shoots you straight good or bad. I will not go anywhere else without contacting Mr. Polyak he is my lawyer and I put my faith in his hands anytime!
Posted by anonymous | July 15, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Reliable, Successful
I was in a situation that did not look good in regards of opportunity to fight the situation I was in. Rather, Jim and I had the task of leveraging facts and my character/history to achieve the best possible outcome the law provided for my sentencing. Jim was professional, understanding, compassionate, realistic and he and his staff were easy and wonderful to work with. I hope to never again need a lawyer but I won't use or recommend anyone else.
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Posted by anonymous | January 3, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney James Polyak
I hired attorney James Polyak because I had heard about his work beforehand. He was able to turn a six month sentence into a 5 day stint. If I was charged with the full time of 6 months I would have been jobless and possibly homeless. I thank god everyday for this man and also the lesson I was able to learn. If anytime someone would need a lawyer I can promise you he is the way to go. Very honest man.
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Posted by anonymous | October 26, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer in the county
I was looking at serious jail time, and I heard about Mr. Polyak from a friend. I liked that Mr. Polyak was straight to the point at first. Every time I went to court he made me feel relaxed. He fought hard against the DA and his closing argument was astonishing. With all his efforts my charges got dismissed for a third dui!! He is the best lawyer in Berks County.
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Posted by Dustin | May 2, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
2 Offenses totalling 8-9mths mandatory imprisonment reduced to fines only.
I can't put into words the respect I have gained for Mr. Polyak within the last 2 weeks. A family friend amongst others I have spoken too highly recommended Mr. Polyak after put myself in a situation with mandatory jail time. Already being a habitual offender I knew I had to hire a top attorney and I made the right choice, Mr. Polyak kept me informed with every interaction he made with the A.D.A and other court officials..he went above and beyond at the last moment cleaning up any confusion from my last attorney! I now consider Jim a friend and I will be sure to recommend him to all friends and strangers alike.
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Posted by anonymous | March 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
20+ years to 2 years parole
Mr. Polyak is phenomenal attorney to have. He’s well dressed, honest, tells you how it is, and doesn’t mess around. You could weeks (months in my case) without hearing from him but when he calls you know why you waited so long. Things get done. He can be a little direct at times but that’s exacly what someone in my situation needed in this case. By the end of it and everything was said and done I felt like James was a friend. A genuinely good man and I would recommend him to anyone no matter how severe your charges are.
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Posted by Tahshay | December 7, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I got into a little legal & he helped another family member that was looking at a long time at a state prison and he did his thing with him so I knew I should reach out to him to represent me. He represented me, he was honest, he did not cut corners, and he told me what it was and wasn't going to be. He defended me to no end and had all charges dropped, he helped me, I can't thank him enough. He is very well-spoken, polite, personable, and we'll dressed. He staff is very nice and welcoming. I recommend him to anyone that has any legalities.
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Posted by Matthew R. | April 22, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you James!
I was falsely accused of lying on a gun application. I explained to the authorities that this was a genuine misunderstanding; a clerical error. The DA did not want to hear anything but a guilty plea. My explanation fell upon "deaf" ears and I was charged with Unsworn Falsification of Documents. I was told if I tried to fight this charge (which would result in a MINIMUM of 1 year probation and a $1,000 fine) I would be charged with felony Perjury. Fortunately, I found Attorney Polyak. He had seen this situation before and I felt like I was in good hands from the moment we met. With Jim Polyak's relentless, hard work, he was able to convince the judge of my innocence. He was able to change my original guilty plea to a small fine and nothing on my record. Attorney Polyak is a true professional with great experience, confidence, and knowledge of the law. I will recommend EVERYONE I know who needs a criminal attorney to James M. Polyak. I can never thank him enough!
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Posted by anonymous | March 21, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My husband was unfortunately recently charged with a 2nd DUI, after reading the previous post I would have to disagree. While we don't hear from Mr.Polyak constantly when we do we realize how hard he has been working. He is an experienced lawyer and always has the answer when we have a question. Our case is still ongoing but we know that the best possible outcome will be achieved with Mr. Polyak as our attorney. Would highly recommend.
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Posted by anonymous | February 18, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney Polyak
Attorney Polyak was my legal counsel for my DUI cases. Unfortunately, I had two within a year, mainly due to a multitude of personal and emotional trauma. I appreciated his lack of judgement of me and was understanding of my dilemma and life events. Mr. Polyak was professional, informative and honest. Being in this situation is very frightening but Attorney Polyak helped ease my fears. He did not give me any unrealistic information but rather the truth which made the outcome easier to deal with. I highly recommend Attorney Polyak if you are ever in a situation with one or multiple DUI's. He was a pleasure to work with even under these circumstances.
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Posted by Robert | May 20, 2015
Remarkable lawyer
I had the pleasure of having MR. Polyak as my attorney.I was well informed about everything and I am very pleased with the treatment he has shown me throughout my difficult time. He worked with me and for me throughout my case. I can honestly say I would recommend him to anyone.
Posted by anonymous | September 3, 2014
I would not recommend anyone else! He made me a priority........
Attorney Polyak made me feel relaxed and kept me informed at all times of what to expect. He took my case with only a few days notice, and was ready to defend me and my future. I am in the medical profession, and had a lot to lose for a stupid, but innocent action. He had my charges lowered to the most minimal charge possible, and the opportunity to expunge the charge from my record in time. An injury was going to keep me from being able to attend my hearing, and Attorney Polyak made special arrangements so I could be there. FAR ABOVE WHAT HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO DO, but he offered the help, I never even had to ask. I would trust him with any situation. THANK YOU ATTORNEY POLYAK. YOU TRULY EXCEED YOUR AWESOME REPUTATION!
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Posted by Seth | May 28, 2014
Excellent Trial Lawyer
I have personally worked with Jim on several federal criminal cases when I was a federal prosecutor. Jim is a great lawyer with a realistic view of what can be done for a client. He is extremely knowledgable in criminal law and procedure. As a trial lawyer, Jim is one of the finest criminal defense attorneys I have tried against. In a jury trial, Jim excels not only in his knowledge of the case, but his complete understanding of persuading jurors. He accomplishes this by his absolute unwavering credibility with opposing counsel, the Court and the jury. A great trial lawyer with a professional demeanor.
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Posted by Jorge | December 10, 2013
My charges were dismissed
I hired Polyak because i had 3 cases and i was in the process of trying to get my citizenship which is a long story. Anyway if you have 2 misdameaner charges you can not get citizenship. He worked with my immigration lawyer in New York. Polyak got all 3 criminal cases dismissed. It truly was a miracle. He is the best lawyer without any question. My immigration lawyer was shocked.
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Posted by Denise | January 28, 2011
Not guilt was the verdict
James keep saying be patient. We went to court for over a year. But at trial the verdict was NOT guilty!!!! It was worth the wait.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Polyak Law Office
  • 1994 - Present
  • Criminal Law Committee Chairman
  • Berks County Bar Association
  • 2004 - 2008
  • Assistant District Attorney
  • Berks County District Attorney's Office
  • 1992 - 1994


  • Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg PA
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1992
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1989

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Commonwealth of PA vs. P.P. Docket No. TR-0000217-2015
  • Not guilty verdict at trial
  • Commonwealth of PA vs. Z.H. Docket No. CR-0000092-2015
  • Case dismissed at first court hearing
  • Commonwealth of PA vs. E.R. Docket No. CR-0000108-2015
  • Case dismissed at first court hearing
View all legal cases


  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Attorney Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Attorney Member
  • 1992 - Present
  • Law Foundation of Berks County
  • Trustee
  • 2017 - 2020
  • United States District Court Magistrate Judge Reappointment Committee
  • Attorney Member
  • 2011 - 2011
  • United States District Court Criminal Justice Act Panel
  • Attorney Member
  • 2003 - 2023
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2020
  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Distinguished Attorney
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Board of Directors
  • Berks Pre-trial Services
  • 2003
  • Accommodation for Bravery
  • Pa. Governor Tom Ridge
  • 1999
  • Dedicated Service
  • Berks County District Attorney
  • 1994
View all awards


  • Berks County Bar Association
  • Trial of a Criminal Case
  • 2014

Speaking Engagements

  • Pa Driver Licensing Issues & Justice Reinvestment Initiative Update
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • 2020
  • Keeping the Wheels of Justice Turning During COVID-19
  • COVID-19
  • 2020
  • 2016 Bar Retreat - Barceló Hotel, Palm Beach, Aruba
  • Criminal Law Practitioner's Guide
  • 2016
  • Alvernia University Lecture Series
  • Police Worn Body Cameras and your Privacy
  • 2015
  • Berks County Bar Association, Education Section
  • Trial of a Criminal Case
  • 2014
  • Berks County Bar Association
  • Search and Seizure Update
  • 2013
  • Criminal Law Committee
  • Criminal Law Appellate Case Review
  • 2010
  • Criminal Law Committee
  • DUI Law
  • 2009
  • Criminal Law Committee
  • DUI Sentencing Law
  • 2008
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (10)
Endorse James
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"James is an extremely experienced and professional attorney, who treats all of his clients with respect and candor. He is knowledgeable in all aspects of criminal law, and has been successful for his clients in some very difficult cases. I would highly recommend hiring Jim for any of your criminal needs. He will do everything he can to fight for your rights, and will ensure that you obtain the best outcome possible."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim is one of the best trial attorneys around."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"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."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 29
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Polyak is a polite,professional and highly proficient defense attorney. His skill and demeanor in the courtroom will set him apart from the rest and his advice and counsel will be reliable. Highly recommend!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Amazing skills and knowledge aside, Jim is one of the most dedicated and diligent lawyers I have met. A great example to follow. And a great guy to have in your corner."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim is an excellent defense attorney. A hard hitting lawyer who gets the job done! Highly recommended. I had the pleasure of working with Jim on a Death Penalty case, his persistence and professionalism turned the case around for our client."
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Reading Criminal defense Lawyer James Matthew Polyak
James Matthew Polyak
Criminal defense Attorney
Reading, PA
Licensed for 31 years
Free Consultation

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