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The main purpose of a handwriting examination is to ascertain the authorship of two sets of writing. By comparing two comparable writing styles in forensic handwriting analysis helps identify the author of a piece of text. To ascertain whether or not the handwriting was created by the known writer, forensic handwriting analysis analyses, compares, and evaluates the handwriting characteristics.

Examine Questioned Documentation

To examine any form of questioned document, and to help establish the author(s), to identify any alterations and to help establish the origin. Questioned documents can include legal documents such as wills, cheques, threatening letters, suicide notes and any form of letter or note relating to criminal activity.

Compare Particular Documents

The handwriting on a particular document can be compared against reference samples of handwriting from a known individual.  This can help establish whether or not the documents have been written by the same author and whether a natural or disguised hand has been used.  Comparison of a signature on a document against known signatures can establish whether it is genuine or has been forged.

Altered Wills/Cheques?

Documents such as wills and cheques can also be altered in an attempt to commit fraud.  Not only would the handwriting itself be examined to establish the author, but the document would also be examined for the use of different inks, or in the case of word-processed documents, additional or altered content.

Document Handwritten Check

When a document is handwritten, indentations may be left on paper that was lying underneath the topmost sheet, for example, on subsequent pages of a note pad.  It is possible to reveal this indented writing using a technique known as ESDA, which may provide valuable intelligence information.

Frequently Asked Questions

In forensics, a person’s identification can be established through the examination of written documents using handwriting analysis. To determine the authenticity of a document, a forensic document examiner considers factors such as the size, spacing, layout, and pressure of the handwriting. A forensic document examiner basically compares the suspect’s handwriting to the document in question to establish authorship.

Every person’s handwriting always has some degree of natural variance, but no two people’s handwriting will be identical. Letter design and proportion, pen movement and position, writing speed, letter and word spacing, embellishments, punctuation, spelling, and grammar use are all characteristics that investigators might evaluate when analysing a person’s handwriting. It’s important to differentiate between “handwriting analysis” (graphology) and “handwriting identification” (graphoanalysis) when trying to determine a person’s personality. In contrast, studies have shown that skilled forensic document examiners are far more capable than the general public at precisely comparing handwriting samples to establish authorship.

Expert examiners review documents that are in dispute in the legal system as part of the forensic science discipline known as forensic document examination (FDE). Any item having markings, signs, or symbols intended to communicate a message or meaning to another person falls within the wide definition of “documents.” In examining a document that has been questioned, some elements are compared to a list of accepted norms (i.e., authentic specimens).

The objective of a forensic document examiner is to methodically assess a document’s properties and characteristics in order to determine how it was created or potentially modified.

The calibre and volume of the provided evidence is frequently a determining factor in the results achieved. An examiner will draw a decision based on the evidence provided that may vary from identification (a conclusive determination of authorship or source) to elimination (a definitive determination of non-authorship or from another source). The examiner will provide an inconclusive conclusion if no conclusion can be drawn from the evidence.

All reports must at the very least include a thorough account of the evidence that was offered for analysis, the exams that were conducted, and the examination’s findings. There may also be a justification for the examiner’s conclusions or any limits. Work notes are also kept in the case file along with the final reports and are available for court-ordered discovery. These might consist of photographs or photocopies of the evidence offered, work diagrams and sketches, communication logs, and proof of the chain of custody.

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