Questions About Document Examination

Analyzing Documents

For questions about forensic document examination, contact Central Valley Document Examination Services LLC. Browse through our frequently asked questions to learn more about forensic document analysis and examinations.

What does a Forensic Document Examiner do?

Forensic Document Examiners examine documents to determine authenticity. Examiners may subsequently be called to present expert testimony in court to demonstrate the basis and reason for their opinions. The most common examination is the comparison of handwriting and/or signatures, but other examinations include examination of typewritten or machine-generated documents, detection of alteration, decipherment of obliterated and indented writing, examination of watermarks, rubber stamps, and other impressions, and ink differentiation. Forensic Document Examiners work in a variety of settings: federal, state, or local crime laboratories, and in private practice.

Does a Forensic Document Examiner determine personality or character traits from handwriting?

No, the practice of trying to determine personality or character traits from handwriting is referred to as graphology, graphoanalysis®, or simply handwriting analysis. This practice is not part of forensic document examination.

What is the definition of a document?

A document may be broadly defined as anything that bears marks, signs, or symbols which have meaning or convey a message.

Businessperson Checking Documents Papers

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Central Valley Document Examination Services LLC

James A. Tarver, Forensic Document Examiner