Forensic Handwriting Examination
involves the analysis of handwritten material in an effort to verify or determine authorship, detect forgery and prove or disprove authenticity.
If and when originals of exemplars and/or questioned documents are not available for examination and comparison, any opinions rendered by handwriting examiners should be qualified, considering that there are some features of writing and documentation that are not discernible in photocopies, especially in multigenerational copies.
In many instances, the findings of handwriting examiners are presented in courts of law to assist the judge and/or jury in understanding the technical evidence of questioned documents.
Handwriting examination adheres to the scientific approach of observation, measurement, explanation and verification.
Prominent handwriting and document examiner Ordway Hilton, author of Scientific Examination of Questioned Documents, wrote that “the examination of a questioned document is a detailed analysis of the whole, of all its elements, prominent and minute. The final opinion is an evaluated summation of the findings of these separate studies.”
Handwriting is a highly complex act involving the writer’s individual habituated neuromuscular patterns.
Because people do not perform exact, repetitive movements of any type, each has a certain amount of natural variation in his or her writing which must be considered in the analysis by a handwriting examiner.