Forensic Questioned Document: Principles of Handwriting Identification

Principles of Handwriting Identification by Forensic Yard

The handwriting identification is the most important branch of the questioned document. It may be necessary to identify signature or the handwriting in the document is genuine, traced, or disguised. However, before identifying the handwriting, you should know about its principles as well. In this article, we will be discussing the principles of Handwriting Identification.

The three main principles of handwriting identification are:-

  1. No two skilled writers can exhibit identical handwriting even after giving them sufficient time and handwriting.
  2. Even the same individual cannot write identical handwriting. There is some presence of variations that occur naturally and is called “natural variation.”
  3. No writer can exceed their skills level. It means that we cannot expect a perfect form of handwriting even from a person who knows about the basics skills of handwriting.

Along with the principles of handwriting, we will also cover a detailed version about natural variations to ease the level of understanding of the principles of handwriting identification.

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Three Main Principles of Handwriting Identification

Handwriting is an art just like drawing, painting, sketching, cycling, etc. A person at an early stage of his life tries to write or practice. These are the efforts from his side to copy a particular alphabet. A person initially takes the mental picture of the model before he makes an effort to copy or translate it through the muscles of his hand. After practicing, proficiency is acquired, and your writing is set and gets mature.

Individuality of Handwriting

A perfectly correct picture of the model is not grasped by our mind; our hand muscles reproduce the mental picture exactly. The deviations produced by our mind and muscles result in muscular nerve deviation, which produces a nerve-muscle reaction and finally gives the handwriting its individuality. This is the reason why every individual has different handwriting.

Natural Variation

It is the variation that is found naturally in the handwriting of a person. Natural variation in handwriting indicates the authenticity of a writer and is always present in the document. Since the forger cannot leave his natural variation and cannot incorporate the natural variation of the authenticated writer. If the natural variation is present in writing, it is thought to be original handwriting.

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Writing which lacks natural variation is always considered forged writing. No two specimen of writing prepared by one person are identical in every detail. Variation is an inherent part of natural writing. If a person writes the same word or signature many times, the reproduction in minute details is never alike. These deviations within certain limits in size, slant, proportion, etc., of characters and the combination of characters, are called natural variations. 

The Writing System

It includes the nationality, culture, and occupation of an individual that indirectly affects your handwriting characteristics. These characteristics decide your skills in writing. A person who has a basic knowledge of handwriting skills, if forced to write perfect handwriting, won’t be able to write in the required way, and we can see tremors while creating strokes due to the shakiness of the hand.

E.g.:- A 4th-grade student will not be able to write the handwriting of a 12th-grade student because he does not acquire handwriting skills that could match the other specimen of handwriting, as handwriting is an art that develops and matures with handwriting age. Therefore, the acquired skill of handwriting is also one of the main principles during the identification of handwriting.  

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