Chances are that if you are on this website you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud.  Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help you during this stressful time.

 


How do I begin to hire a document examiner?

First, things first.  Give me a call.  I do not charge for an initial consultation.  You are probably experiencing a wide range of emotions are a feeling overwhelmed.  Give me a call and I will explain what document examiners do and we can go from there.


What is a document examiner?

Document examiners are also referred as handwriting experts, or questioned document examiners.  They compare and analyze documents in order to determine the authenticity or non-genuineness of the document in question.


What is the difference between a certified document examiner vs a document examiner?

Certification tests are given by different organizations.  These certifications provide a verification of a level of competence in document examination.


How does a document examiner determine forgery?

So who declares a document to be a forgery?

The answer might surprise you. It’s not a document examiner. It’s not a certified document examiner. There is a common misconception that document examiners can detect or declare a signature or a document to be a forgery. We do not have the authority to determine a forgery.  A document examiner can determine that a questioned document or a questioned signature is not authentic.

However, this does not necessarily mean that the item in question is a forgery.  By definition a forgery is the act of creating something under false pretenses and pass it off as genuine in order to deceive a person or people.  It’s up to the jury or the judge to determine whether a forgery has taken place. A document examiner can present the facts regarding a document or a signature but ultimately it is up the the judge or jury to decide what the intent was surrounding that particular case.


Is there a difference between a document examiner and a handwriting expert?

Not really.  The terms are often interchanged.  People refer to document examiners and handwriting experts because most of our cases have to do with the examination of handwriting or signatures.  However, document examiners should not be confused with graphologists.  Whereas document examiners determine authenticity of the document or authorship of the handwriting, graphologists determine personality traits based on one’s handwriting.


Can you conduct an examination if the writing is in a different language?

Yes, a document examiner can conduct an examination if the writing is in a different language.  However, the document examiner should learn about the characteristics of the written language that is being examined.  Some languages are written from right to left and some use use diacriticals (accents, cedillas or hooks) which are important to the examination process.  Roxanne has experience with the Cyrillic form of writing as well as the Czech and German forms of writing.


Can you determine an indivdual’s personality from a signature or sample of handwrting?

Document examiners do not determine personality traits through samples of handwriting.  There is a field called Graphology.  Graphologists can determine personality traits through handwriting samples.  Roxanne Brand is not a graphologist.


Can you conduct an examination and come to an opinion just using handwritten numbers?

Yes.  Many people do not realize that there are many individual characteristics in written numerals.  Document examiners can compare and identify numbers.


Can you determine the author’s gender in handwriting?

No.  There is no way that a document examiner can determine whether the sample of writing was completed by a man or a woman.


Can you determine if the right hand or left hand was used in sample of writing?

No.  There is a misconception that right handedness or left handedness can be determined.  Contrary to popular belief document examiners cannot determine which hand was used in completing a signature or handwriting sample.