Questioned Document Analysis

As a Private Investigations Firm In Kenya, LY Detectives undertakes Questioned-document analysis which involves a number of areas of forensic inquiry. It is an apprenticeship field, requiring years of practice and work with experienced examiners.

Signature Analysis

The most familiar area of questioned-document examination is handwriting analysis.

Here LY examiners are called upon to determine if a particular person was the author of a document. The examiner compares characteristics of the questioned document with those of a document either previously written by the suspect or purposely taken as a known handwriting sample, also called an exemplar/sample. There are no universal standards for the number of characteristics that must be present in order for the document examiner to conclude that a particular person was the author of a document. It is up to the individual examiner to determine when there is sufficient evidence.

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LY Forensic document examiners are called upon to determine if a particular instrument made a typewritten or printed document or if a particular copier made a copy of a document. Unless there are some unusual characteristics or defects in the instrument, it is generally not possible to answer such questions definitively.

Our document examiners are also called upon to examine alterations in documents such as erasures, addition of material, obliterated writing, and charred documents. Such work involves chemical analysis as well as physical and observational techniques. Examiners are frequently asked to determine the age of a document, particularly those that are handwritten in ink.

A document may consist of a number of entries made at different times, and questions may arise as to whether a particular entry was made at a purported time. In other cases, the age of an entire document may be called into question. The determination of the age of the ink on a document is accomplished by uncovering changes in the chemical composition of the ink that take place over time. A similar type of analysis may also be done on the paper, especially if ink was not used to write the document.