More than one business, bank, or insurer has considered what would happen if a customer or supplier doesn’t recognize their signature in a contract. It might be an excuse for not paying, a ploy to prolong a lawsuit, or it might just be the honest truth. Alternately, it could also happen that someone falsely represents himself as the signer of a contract.
What takes place in these circumstances? When a signature is contested, the usual line of action is for the case to be brought civilly before the court. However, in some circumstances, particularly when the alleged import is monetary, the matter might be brought up in criminal court under the charge of forged paperwork.
Who actually signed the contract is the last issue up for debate in court. A forensic handwriting expert will examine the disputed signature and carry out a handwriting analysis to identify the signature’s genuine author in cases of contested contracts.
In this piece, we’ll discuss the duties of a forensic handwriting expert and how they examine signatures, whether they are handwritten or digital, to confirm a signer’s identity in the event of litigation.
Can you actually change a signature?
The signature is a very personal act, which incorporates extremely unique qualities of the signer; and when doing it, what predominate are unconscious mechanical gestures.
The visual quirks of our writing persist over time since they are the result of instinctive gestures and are therefore very challenging to change without a lot of work due to the predominance of our unconscious during the signing and writing process.
If the supposed contract signer made a deliberate effort to change his or her signature, this effort would be seen in the pressure, symmetry, character spacing, etc. of the signature. A handwriting expert can identify all of the aforementioned traits by comparing the disputed signature to the signature that the putative signer claims to be their own. This is referred to as a “letter comparison test” or forensic handwriting analysis.
An expert will also need to gather a body of writing in court, which is a text of more than 10 lines that the putative signer will be requested to write, in order to do the handwriting test, in addition to comparing the disputed signature with one recognized by the signer.
What exactly is a shady signature?
A doubtful signature is what is referred to as a questioned signature in legalese. In a legal proceeding, the disputed signature would be contrasted with one that was either created by the supposed signer in front of the judge or was taken from official records (such as signatures in notarized deeds, the signature on an ID card or passport, etc.). The expert may also contrast the questionable signature with one that the individual whose signature is being disputed in court has previously acknowledged.
How may a handwritten signature’s comparison analysis be used to prove a signer’s identity in a court of law case?
A handwriting expert will employ three different types of processes to compare a suspect (or disputed) signature with one that the purported signer is known to have produced:
A graphologist is not the same as a forensic handwriting expert. What distinguishes them from one another?
An expert in forensic handwriting can identify the signer of a signature. They employ several techniques to examine the handwriting, enabling confirmation or denial of the claimed signer’s identity.
A graphologist, on the other hand, examines handwriting in order to characterize a person’s personality.
How is the comparative analysis procedure used to confirm a signer’s identity when a contract has been signed using an electronic signature?
Banks, insurance companies, and other businesses of all sizes are increasingly using electronic signatures to sign documents and contracts. These types of signatures are subject to the same comparison examination process in court as handwritten signatures. The only thing that changes is the type of previous analysis, or how the sample of the original signature is obtained: in order to compare a questionable electronic signature with a signature that the alleged signer is aware of, the alleged signer must make a signature under identical circumstances to the questionable signature.
The forensic handwriting expert can examine this signature and compare it to another that was created under similar circumstances, regardless of whether it was signed using a stylus on a tablet, the index finger of a smartphone, or the mouse or track pad of a desktop computer.
Similar to the previous instance, when a forensic handwriting expert is needed, the results of the analysis will be reflected in a legal report that will be presented and defended in the relevant proceeding.
In actuality, there is a trend toward using more and more computerized technologies to create signatures. The fundamental benefit of technology in this domain is the accuracy with which objective aspects are measured, on the one hand, and the elimination of the subjective component, on the other hand: some “details” may elude the expert, or the results may be interpreted incorrectly. Technology provides a considerably better level of reliability assurance.
How much does it cost to retain a forensic handwriting specialist to present evidence in court proving the signer’s identity?
A legal report for a questionable signature in the USA often costs between $400 and $600. This cost may double or even double in some cities.
The benefit of our solution in the case of Signature’s advanced electronic signature is that it incorporates biometric data capture technology, which enables us to collect biometric information from the signer’s graph and make it available to a forensic handwriting expert in the event that it is required by a court.
The biometric data we gather comprises all the points on a graph, their positions, the speed and acceleration at which they were created, and on devices that support it, we also record the pressure used to create a signature.
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