Examination of Typewritten and Office Printed Documents

Determination of whether a selection of documents may have been produced on the same typewriter/printer is a frequent requirement in casework in order to associate documents, possibly said to originate from a variety of different sources, as having been produced by one particular printer.

The work is undertaken on the basis that throughout a typewriter's or printer's life, it will experience use and abuse which may cause defects in the typewritten/printed product by way of damaged elements, elements containing pressure faults, misaligned elements, certain extraneous marks on the document, non-printing of certain components, defects on the application of ink to the paper etc. dependent on the type of typewriter/printer used, e.g. bar machine, daisy wheel, laser printer, inkjet, thermal transfer printers etc. From the observation of an accumulation of such defect characteristics which are found to be common in two documents, an assessment of the significance of such defects can be made and in some instances, the weight of evidence can lead to the positive identification of a single typewriter/printer being responsible for the production of the documents under examination. If the weight of evidence is insufficient for an absolute identification, there may be an accumulation of evidence on which an opinion based on probabilities may be offered or the evidence may clearly show different machines to be involved.

Clearly, for this type of examination a selection of comparison typewritings is required, from the machine said to have produced the document in question. These comparisons should preferably be dated from just prior to the date of the document in question until shortly after that date. A large number of comparisons is considered desirable to facilitate the task. However, even limited comparison may be adequate to formulate a firm opinion.

The potential change of defects over time can also be a useful tool for the document examiner in dating of typewritten material.

What We Offer

We offer a free of charge:

  • Estimate of likely costs 
  • Initial brief discussion of the case with potential instructing solicitors over the telephone
  • Outline of other potential examinations that may be available to extract the maximum evidence from the documents available

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