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Handwriting Comparison & Questioned Documents

Signature on chequeHandwriting Experts (also referred to as forensic handwriting experts or document examiners) can compare a piece of handwriting, whose author is unknown or is in dispute, with specimen handwriting samples from a particular individual suspected of writing it. So, if you want to know ‘Who wrote this letter?’ or ‘Who filled in this form?’ you require a handwriting expert. The amount of questioned handwriting may affect the strength of opinion given but the examination of even very small amounts of handwriting can provide a useful result.

It is also possible to compare two pieces of handwriting with each other to establish common authorship, enabling the question ‘Did the same person write these two documents?’ to be addressed.

The analysis of handwriting includes a detailed comparison of the shape and construction of each individual character in the document in question with the corresponding character in the specimen handwriting samples. Features such as line position, spacing, size, slope, fluency, ratio and proportion are also compared.

The issue of whether a signature is genuine or forged is also regularly asked of a handwriting expert. The comparison of signatures involves the examination of a suitable quantity of specimen or reference signatures with the signature in question. The most common cases involving signature comparisons include those involving Mortgage Application forms, wills, Loan Application forms and cheques.

Our handwriting expert requires suitable specimen handwriting and signatures to be able to complete an effective comparison. Given that every individual exhibits a range of variation in their handwriting and signature, it is important that the specimens demonstrate this range. It is therefore beneficial to have not only specimen writing and signatures taken as a result of dictation specifically for the issue under investigation but also 'course of business' samples. These are documents written by the client during his day to day business. Samples written around the same time as the writing and signatures in question are the most valuable.

Ideally, original documents would be examined in all cases. However, opinions can be given based on photographed, scanned or photocopied documents. The quality and clarity of the documents submitted may influence the strength of opinion expressed.

Our expert can also examine indented writing on documents using ESDA analysis.

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