While the greater part of our forensic document examination work relates to the comparative examination of signatures and handwriting (see Handwriting & Signature Examination), document examination embraces every aspect of determining the genuineness or provenance of a document.
Other aspects of forensic document examination include:
- detecting alterations to documents including handwritten additions, text insertions and page substitutions;
- recovering and deciphering faded, bleached, obliterated and erased writing and printing;
- reconstructing shredded, torn, charred and other damaged documents;
- determining the source of anonymous letters, extortion notes, etc;
- determining whether travel, identity and other security documents are genuine or counterfeit;
- determining whether or not entries on a document are original or reproduction;
- determining the method of production of a machine generated document (laser print, inkjet print, photocopy, facsimile or some form of commercial printing method);
- determining the source and possible date of production of documents generated by various typewriter, printing and reproduction (eg. photocopy) methods;
- deciphering typewriter ribbons and the possible matching of specific entries to a suspect typewriter ribbon;
- developing latent writing impressions in documents caused by the act of writing on an overlying sheet of paper (see Examination of Impressions);
- determining the sequence of impressions and actual writing on the subject document (see Examination of Impressions);
- determining the relative and, occasionally, absolute time when entries were made (see Sequencing & Relative Dating);
- determining the likely sequence of line crossings (see Sequencing & Relative Dating);
- non-destructive examination and comparison of inks and papers using photo-analytical methods (see Paper & Ink Examination);
- determining the source and possible date of production of rubber stamp impressions (see Examination of Impressions).
Detailed and comprehensive forensic examinations are often multi-faceted and require the application of a combination of scientific methods in order possibly to resolve the issues. The team at FDS has the benefit of applying its range of forensic techniques and instruments in order to recover any evidence generated in the document and which remains at the time of examination.