A questioned document is defined as any handwriting, signature, typewriting, or any mark whose source is doubtful (Hilton, 1992). The theory of comparing handwriting is developmental. It is important to examine the original documents rather than copies because details like indentations and pressure may not be identifiable in copies. Therefore, use of copies in a questioned document may not give positive conclusions. In the case of photographs, an original one can reveal more details on magnification. Copies lose vital information, and they show image distortion when enlarged (Hilton, 1992). A questioned document may also prevent positive conclusion because it may not reveal fraudulence in writing. In addition, lack of a competent witness and inadequate amount of writing standard for comparison may prevent the examiner from getting a positive conclusion.
In writing, natural variation is proof of authenticity. In forgery, lack of variation is suspicious since forgers have a tendency of writing words the same way always and copying from the same examples (Huber & Headrick, 1999). They limit the forms of the letter they copy, which makes spurious writing consistent compared to genuine writing. Lack of variation and the habit of copying are signs of fraudulent writing. A forger does not realize the need for variation and, therefore, makes the writing be close to the known writing. This is more pronounced when they try to copywriting, which is extended.
In an investigation to compare the handwriting on an exemplar written in a blue pen to a questioned document written in pencil, the nature and number of characteristics can be used to determine the genuineness. Signs of forgery reveal fraudulent handwriting. Tremor cannot be used in this kind of an investigation since the same type of tremor can be found in the doubtful writing as well as the specimen (Huber & Headrick, 1999). Most writers rest the pen on the paper long enough to make an ink blob at the beginning of the line.
Hilton, O. (1992). Scientific examination of questioned documents, revised edition. New York, NY: Elsevier.
Huber, R. A., & Headrick, A. (1999). Handwriting fundamentals: Facts and fundamentals. Boca Raton, CA: CRC Press.