A Forensic Document Examiner or FDE in short is a professional expert who examines documented evidence to identify its origin and legitimacy. They are an important part of the forensic science community’s success. Their main task is to use scientific methods and equipment to examine written, typed or printed documents. They create demonstrative exhibits, compose expert reports and express their thoughts on the papers under investigation. If the case goes to trial, this means they will testify in court. A successful document examiner will work on the evidence according to accepted standards and methods and will be able to articulate and explain their conclusions to non-experts in a professional and approachable manner. Below are some of the main tasks of the forensic document examiner.
Execute Document Evaluation
Before any analysis can begin, all questioned and known papers are given a designation, numbered and labeled. The examiner will perform a more thorough review using equipment such as side lighting, transmitted light and magnification to prepare a more detailed analysis after the documents have been properly labeled. Once the initial analysis has been completed, the examiner will perform a more thorough review using equipment such as side lighting, transmitted light, and magnification to prepare a more detailed analysis. Pictures, observations and drawings will be documented in precise notes that show what the examiner saw. This is the initial step in the document evaluation process.
Distinguishing Counterfeit Signatures
A forensic document examiner is frequently asked to analyze a suspect’s signature on a document. A comprehensive evaluation of numerous aspects of the signature, including line quality, speed, letterforms, height relationships and size. This is done in order to determine whether it is authentic or not. Suspect signature cases emerge in the authentication of sports memorabilia, contested wills and deeds, employment contracts and checks since signatures are the most common sort of forgery.
Document examiners undertake multi-faceted examinations that include a wide range of topics, including signatures and printing materials. Significant results will be documented in a report with demonstrative exhibits, which will include analysis, comparison and evaluation of the features observed by the examiner. Examiners will secure the papers received in a non-destructive environment, assuring the integrity of the things received.
Examine Handwritten Evidence
Handwritten evidence is examined by the majority of forensic document examiners. The most prevalent type of evidence that needs to be examined is signatures. The authorship and legitimacy of a signature or written letter are generally called into doubt by the court. Wills, contracts and deeds are examples of other handwritten evidence. In addition, other crucial documents, such as medical charts, are also examined to determine the authorship of handwritten notes or to answer dating issues about when an entry was made.
Investigate Typed Evidence
A typewriter-produced document may also require the assistance of a document examiner. A skilled and professional examiner might be able to figure out which typewriter model was used to make the document in dispute. Some typewriters generate a distinct set of characteristics that aid the forensic document examiner in determining which typewriter typed the text. Other tests include determining the type of font, ink and ribbons. In addition, forensic document examiners can see if the typewritten document has any modifications or erasures.