In many cases the validity of a document can only be proved if the authenticity of the signature can be established beyond reasonable doubt. Kate Strzelczyk is one of the few experienced and accomplished Forensic Document Examiners available to forensically examine signatures and determine whether or not they are genuine. Our expert will then produce a court worthy report and appear in a court as an expert witness if required.
In order to carry out a signature comparison, the questioned signature will need to be compared to a sample of genuine reference signatures.
The questioned signature is examined microscopically for any evidence of forgery and also to determine the construction and sequence of pen strokes used to construct the signature form. Even if the signature appears illegible, this does not prevent it from being analysed. Often over time, people that sign their name on a very regular basis will simplify their signature style so that it becomes a series of illegible scribbles that are quick to write. This form will still be specific to the author, as it is a highly personalised signature, and in many cases can be difficult to forge accurately if the series of pen strokes are difficult to determine by the forger.
It is particularly important in signature cases to obtain the original questioned signature so that all of the microscopic features of the signature's construction can be examined in sufficient detail. The best evidence is often found when examining the original documentation; however, if only copy documents are available, please do submit them for analysis, as provided enough detail can be observed, an expert opinion can still be reached regarding their authenticity.
Reference signature can be submitted in the form of personal letters, cheques, passports, financial paperwork and business documents. Sample signatures can also be requested from the individual concerned. If taking signatures by request, please refer to our guidelines before proceeding. Request signature specimen guidance It is important to obtain the best specimen material possible as this will have a significant impact on the outcome of the findings in your case. These points are for guidance only as every case is unique. Please ensure that you take the most appropriate samples for your case. If in any doubt please contact our expert for advice.
Request signatures should be taken on separate pages, ideally with a short break in between each, during which the completed specimen is removed. Remember not to show the questioned signature(s) to the writer, to avoid any influence on their natural writing style such as conscious or subconscious copying or disguise. Use the same layout of document as that found on the questioned paperwork to take each signature specimens on. If the questioned document is unlined, has a signature box to sign in or a line of fixed length or limited space to sign in, please replicate this where possible. Use a good quality ballpoint pen such as a biro or other similar brand. It is always helpful in any case to have some non-request specimen signatures that show how the writer signs naturally in the course of their everyday life. These are ideal for checking that the request specimens are naturally written and represent the author's everyday range of natural variation.
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