Matt Keenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 24 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU, Illinois State Bar Association.

Latest Articles

Your ex-spouse has an order of protection against you. You thought it was still okay to call her best friend, but now the police have arrested you for violating the order. What is the law? What can you do? You can be charged with violating an order of protection if you 1) knowingly commit an act prohibited by the order or fail to commit an act ordered by the order, and 2) you have been served notice or have actual knowledge of the contents of the order. To avoid trouble, you should read any order carefully and err widely on…
You honestly didn’t have much to drink at the football game, but a police officer stopped you on the way home for improper lane usage. You took the breathalyzer test, figuring you would pass it anyway. But the test results were surprisingly high. You really only had three beers. Can the machine be correct? According to a recent New York Times investigation, breathalyzer machines nationwide are often less accurate than advertised. As a result, thousands of test results have been invalidated in recent years across the country. In some cases, poor maintenance is to blame such as where rats were…
The police arrested you for a felony in Illinois. The prosecution wants to use your prior conviction in another state to upgrade your charges or increase your sentence. Can they do that? The answer depends on the specific law involved. An Illinois criminal or DUI statute may refer to whether you have been convicted under the laws of Illinois or any other jurisdiction. A court must look at your prior offense in the other state and compare it to the language of the charges against you. In People v. Schultz, the court examined whether a defendant’s two Michigan convictions…
After a car accident, you and the other driver started argueing. You grabbed your cell phone, but the other driver told police you had a gun. You did have a gun in your glove compartment, but you never removed it. Now you are charged with unlawful use of a weapon. Is the other driver’s testimony enough to convict you? An Illinois court says not necessarily. In People v. McLaurin, an officer testified that she saw the defendant, a convicted felon, carrying what appeared to be a silver handgun when leaving an apartment building. The officer could not describe the…
In Illinois, a charge of criminal sexual abuse can be upgraded to a Class 2 felony if during the offense: You use a dangerous weapon or other object such that the victim reasonably believes you have a dangerous weapon; You cause the victim bodily harm;,/li> The victim is age 60 or older or has a physical disability or severe intellectual disability; You threaten or endanger the victim or some other person’s life; The sexual conduct is committed during the course of any other felony; You drugged the victim without their consent or by threat or deception; You committed a sex…
If you are charged with DUI, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: 1) that you were impaired and 2) that you were driving. This burden may be more difficult to meet if no one actually saw you behind the wheel of the car. But sometimes the state can prove driving through circumstantial evidence. In a typical DUI, an officer may stop you for a traffic violation and thus, can testify that you were driving. Bear in mind that this applies even if the officer instead found you sleeping in the car. If instead the officer arrives at the…
You are staying at a motel. You heard some people with a dog outside your room, but you thought nothing of it. A little while later, the police were at your door with a warrant. The dog you heard earlier was part of the canine unit, and now police want to search your room. Can they do that? What can you do? The Fourth Amendment of the constitution guarantees you the right to be free of unreasonable searches or seizures. The police need probable cause or a warrant to perform a search although there are some exceptions. When you are…
Illinois law prohibits several types of identity theft. Perhaps the most basic definition is where you knowingly used the personal identifying information or documents of another person to fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods, services or other property or to commit a felony. (See 720 ILCS 5/16-30). A key element to the offense is the word “knowingly.” To convict you, the state must prove that you actually knew the information or documents you used belonged to another person. For example, in People v. Fort, the defendant used a credit profile number (CPN) that he had purchased from a website.…
Recreational marijuana is about to become legal in Illinois, but that doesn’t mean you can cruise the highway lazily puffing a joint with your stash on the seat. Be aware that there are still limits. As with open alcohol, you may not drive while using cannabis in the passenger area of your car while on the road. See 625 ILCS 5/11-502.15. Furthermore, no one may possess cannabis in the car’s passenger compartment unless the cannabis is in a sealed, odor-proof, child resistant cannabis container. Violating either law is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in…
You and your friends were hanging out in the alley with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. A police cruiser spotted you with the booze. As a result, you were all arrested for drinking in public ways. The police then patted you down and found drugs and a gun in your pocket. You were then arrested for drinking in public ways and for possession of contraband. What is drinking in public ways? What can you do? Depending on whether you were actually on the public way, you may be able to suppress the evidence from your arrest. Most municipalities have…
You were walking through a back alley when the police officer stopped you. In the police report, the officer claims that a packet of drugs or an illegal weapon simply fell out of your pocket. That simply didn’t happen, but this is still the basis for your arrest. Can the officer get away with that? The answer depends on how the court views the phenomena known as “dropsy” testimony. “Dropsy” cases are those where an officer falsely testifies that a defendant dropped contraband in plain view “to avoid the exclusion of evidence on fourth-amendment grounds.” In New York, the problem…
The officer stopped you for a broken tail light. When you rolled down your window, he smelled the odor of alcohol and asked you to get out of the car. You took the field sobriety tests and thought you did pretty well, but the officer arrested you anyway. If there is a video, you think it will prove you were OK. Do you have a right to see the video? The answer is yes. During your arrest, the officer likely wore a body camera or had a camera mounted on his or her squad car. If there is a recorded…
You picked a fight with the wrong guy–an off duty police officer who was moonlighting as a bouncer at your favorite bar. The charge would have been simple battery if the bouncer hadn’t been a cop, but instead you are charged with aggravated battery. Since the officer was off duty, can you still be convicted? The answer is yes, provided the officer was performing his official duties. A recent Illinois case has held that preventing a crime, even to himself, falls within an officer’s official duties even if the officer is off work at the time. In People v. Brewer
As of August 23, 2019, Illinois has new ground rules regarding the need to notify a parent before questioning your minor child at school. Before questioning a student on school grounds who is suspected of a crime 1) a law enforcement or school security official must try to notify you, 2) the school must document the time and manner of the notice, and 3) the school must make reasonable efforts to ensure you are present during questioning. If you cannot be present, then the school must include a school social worker, psychologist, nurse, guidance counselor or other mental health professional…
In these days of ready access to webcams, cell phones and live video streaming, Illinois law has laid down some limits. Ignoring those limits can cost you criminal charges. Under 720 ILCS 5/26-4, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony if you knowingly make a video or transmit live video of another person without that person’s consent in any of the following places: (a) In a restroom, tanning bed, tanning salon, locker room, changing room, or hotel bedroom. (It is also illegal to place or cause to be placed a video recording or transmitting device in any…
In reviewing a traffic ticket or DUI, the court generally reviews all the facts of your case. In some situations, the type of road you were driving on may become important. For example, does an officer have probable cause to stop you for improper lane usage if the road is particularly twisty? The answer may be no. See our related post What is Improper Lane Usage Under Illinois Law. You may not legally pass a school bus that is signaling a stop. However, this law does not apply to certain types of roads. See our related post Passing a