What is a Handwriting Expert?

Los Angeles, San Diego Handwriting Expert

Have you ever tried using the internet to find someone who could determine if the handwriting on your document is authentic? What do you search for? The average person might type in “Handwriting Expert”. The resulting list of websites could include people who teach children how to write in cursive, personality analysts and expert witnesses.

Allow me to clear up a few of the misconceptions about Handwriting Experts.

If you want someone to come to your party and entertain your guests by analyzing their handwriting and describing their personalities you probably want a graphologist. According to Wikipedia, “Graphology is the pseudoscientific study and analysis of handwriting, especially in relation to human psychology.” Other services provided by a graphologist can include personality profiling for personal enrichment, employment or jury selection.  In this context, a graphologist considers himself a handwriting expert of sorts. They may even advertise themselves as handwriting experts. Some graphologists ascribe to the notion that by changing ones handwriting characteristics, a writer can change his personality traits; these people call themselves Grapho-Therapists.

DO NOT confuse either one of these with a Handwriting Expert, a properly-trained person who is qualified to scientifically examine, analyze and identify handwriting and testify to his or her expert opinion in court.

In North America, the term, Handwriting Expert is used in conjunction with Forensic Document Examiner (FDE). An FDE has been thoroughly trained in a hands-on full time internship for at least 24 months by an experienced FDE. The FDE uses various scientific means to establish the authenticity or otherwise verify documents or the integrity of their contents. Handwriting identification, inter-comparisons or other handwriting issues are the most common questions requiring the skills of a document examiner. Therefore, many FDE’s are described as Handwriting Experts.

Here are a few questions you can ask if you interview a potential Handwriting Expert for a case you have that involves verifying the identity of a writer or comparing writings in multiple documents:

  • Where did you get your training? The answer should be that training was provided by an approved document lab or under the auspices of a seasoned document examiner. Training in graphology does not qualify a person as a Handwriting Expert.
  • Do you belong to any professional organizations? Do your homework. Be sure that the organization is not just an advertising or networking group.
  • Get references and follow up on them.

For more information or help with your handwriting signature analysis or document examination you can contact me at ALLIANCE FORENSIC SERVICES in Escondido, CA. 888-760-0339

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