Forensic Examination of Handwriting
QD Examiner offers forensic handwriting examinations. We compare a piece of handwriting with known writing of one or more individuals to determine if the same writer could be responsible.
The examination involves a detailed assessment of handwriting characteristics, including style, size, proportions, spacing, and fluency. It also examines individual character shapes, proportions, construction, and connections between characters. The significance of similarities and differences between the writings is carefully evaluated.
An opinion regarding authorship will be expressed using the Range of Opinions shown in the FAQs. The strength of the opinion will depend on a number of factors including the quality of the documents, the nature and distinctiveness of the handwriting, the amount of writing present and the suitability of the specimen handwriting available.
Examination of photocopied/scanned documents
These will not contain all of the detail present in the original documents and whilst an examination may be possible, it may be that any opinion regarding authorship is not conclusive. You are welcome to email copies of the documents for an initial assessment and we can advise whether they are of a sufficient quality for a reliable examination.
Documents that have been scanned at low resolution and saved as electronic pdf files are unlikely to be suitable for examination.
Factors affecting handwriting
Handwriting can be affected by a number of factors including health, age, intoxication, fatigue and therefore it is essential for us to know whether any of these are relevant to the individuals concerned.
In order to carry out an effective comparison, we require suitable specimen handwriting - examples of writing from any individual you wish to identify or exclude as having written the document in question. These documents can include a mixture of originals and copies.
A handwriting comparison can only be carried out with like-for-like material. That is, cursive (joined up) writing can only be compared with other cursive writing, whilst block capital writing is only comparable with other examples of block capitals.
Ideally specimens must have been written on different occasions so that the variation within the individual's writing can be assessed. It is also useful if they are contemporaneous with the document in question (written at the same time). If not, it would be useful to see examples from before AND after the date of the document in question. Handwriting from 30 years ago is not the ideal specimen for comparison with a document written recently.
In the case of joint instructions it is desirable that all parties involved agree the authorship of any documents submitted for use as specimens.
Examples of suitable documents might include notebooks, address books, letters, diaries, greetings cards, cheques, business documents, loan applications, council tax forms and banking documents
HANDWRITING SPECIMENS REQUESTED:
Same style (joined up or capitals)
Written on different occasions, preferably similar documents
Should be contemporaneous, or pre and post-date the document in question
Can be on both original and copy documents
council tax forms