What Is Handwriting Analysis?

Handwriting analysis is the study and examination of document origination. Also known as questioned document examination, it involves the comparison of an unknown sample with a known sample; one that is known to have originated with the person in question. The goal of an analyst is to determine that the two samples being reviewed do indeed belong to the same person. Handwriting analysis can refer to the review of either physical or electronic documents and requires keen attention to detail along with the ability to keep up with technological advances within the industry. Analysts not only review handwritten documents, but conduct ink examinations, print process examinations, and review watermarks and document authenticity as well.

The Importance of Forensic Handwriting Analyses

Forensic handwriting analysts use their skills to detect forgery, identity theft, and even art authentication. They use science in their investigations, can testify as expert witnesses, and can travel internationally to be a part of high-profile cases. Handwriting analyses in Las Vegas, NV can include the study of anonymous and threatening letters, suicide notes, robbery and ransom notes, stolen checks, medical records, alterations, check-washing, graffiti, handwriting identification, and more. They often work closely with the judicial system and can be employed as independent contractors or by government agencies. Signature identification, while only one component of the field, is actually one of the more difficult tasks a forensic handwriting analyst has. The process usually involves multiple professionals weighing in with their expertise on microscopical variances. For example, it is likely that depending on your mood, time constraints, or any number of other external factors, your writing varies slightly day-to-day. Forensic handwriting analysts understand that and can account for that during their review. Instead, they look deeper into the structure, slant, and baseline alignment of the signature in question before making a determination.

The Forensic Handwriting Analysis Umbrella

The forensic analysis field itself encompasses DNA testing, crime scene investigation, fingerprint identification, narcotics analysis, and voice identification, just to name a few. Handwriting analysts are just one part of a larger forensic network. Analysts are able to, among other things, accurately differentiate one individual’s writing style from another, and they use those skills to connect the dots in their investigations.  Handwriting analyses in Las Vegas, NV, can be tailored to the needs of attorneys, private citizens, law enforcement agencies, and corporations. Forensic document examiners are bound by the ASTM’s standards for methods, procedures, and scope of work.

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