The Questioned Documents
Unit examines and compares data appearing on paper and other
evidentiary materials. These surface data include handwriting,
hand printing, typewriting, printing, erasures, alterations,
and obliterations. Impressions in the surface of paper, such
as those from indented writing or use of a check writer or dry
seal, are also routinely evaluated by Unit examiners, as are
shoeprint and tire tread impressions.
In addition to data
contained on the surface of documentary evidence, data within
paper or other surfaces watermarks, safety fibers, and
other integral featuresmay be components of document examinations.
Unit examiners also match the torn or perforated edges of items
such as paper, stamps, or matches.
Other Unit examinations
include analyses of typewriter ribbons, photocopiers, facsimiles,
graphic arts, and plastic bags. The Unit also maintains a number
of databasesthe Anonymous Letter File, the Bank Robbery
Note File, the National Fraudulent Check File, the Watermark
File, and the Shoeprint File.
For more information
about documentary evidence or the Questioned Documents Unit,
see the Questioned
section of the Handbook
of Forensic Services.
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A traced signature and its model
A stamp perforation match
Paper shreds demonstrating different
optical properties under ambient and
Inks of different intensities used
on the same document