CERTIFIED FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINER Phone: (512) 964-8992 Handwriting Expert
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q-What is a forgery?
A forgery is an imitation or alteration of a document, handwriting or signature, being represented as being an original, with the intent to defraud.
Q-What is forensic document examination?
A forensic document examiner, also called a questioned document examiner, is a Handwriting Expert. Document examination and handwriting identification are discriminatory processes of the analysis or determination of discriminating elements, comparison between the standard and unknown items, and evaluation of the similarities and dissimilarities.
Q-What is graphology?
A graphologist is usually referred to as a Handwriting Analyst. This is the study of handwriting, specifically letter formations, in order to determine personality characteristics. Graphologists also recommend handwriting changes to alter personality traits. Document examination is a separate discipline from graphology, similar to astronomy versus astrology.
Q-What does a document examination cost?
The first consultation is free. A retainer is collected up front before an examination begins. You are contacted with a "Verbal Opinion". At that time you decide if you also require a written report. If a "Written Report" is not requested, you are refunded the difference. Other services are detailed on the Fee Schedule.
Q-What training is required for a document examiner?
Document examination is not taught in standard universities. All professional organizations for document examiners require at least a two-year apprenticeship under a qualified examiner. I apprenticed under several document examiners through the School of Forensic Document Examination.
Program requirements included the following:
In addition to the above training, I received certification from the American Institute of Applied Science.
Q-Will this opinion be accepted in a court of law?
Each expert witness is qualified in a court of law by decision of the judge. Once the court accepts my qualifications, my opinion is admissible.
Q-Do I need originals?
I will ask you to fax or email me your documents so that I can get started on the examination right away. Originals do reveal more, but most of the time I find the copies adequate to form an opinion. If the case goes to court, I will insist on examining the originals, if they exist, in order to render an unqualified opinion.
Q-How many handwriting samples do you need?
I had a call from a law firm this week that had one questioned document and one known document. It depends on the documents. One known sample, or exemplar, could be enough to form an opinion. It's best to compare similar material sufficient in number to establish the individual's usual writing habits.