Forensic Document Examiners vs. Graphologists: What’s the Difference?

An expert witness can make or break your legal case, which is why choosing the right one is so important. When it comes to handwriting, you’ll come across two types of people who claim they can help you: forensic document examiners and graphologists. While they both focus on handwriting, they vary drastically on expertise and credibility, and choosing the wrong one for your case could cost you.

Forensic document examinersForensic Document Examiner vs. Graphologist

Forensic document examiners can look at a document and provide you with a wide range of professional feedback. They perform handwriting comparisons, document authentication and signature authentication using known and reliable techniques to prove or disprove authenticity. Additionally, FDEs can determine the approximate age of a document, reveal whether or not alterations have been made to a document, and even decipher documents that have been damaged or charred.


By definition, graphologists are not qualified to provide these services. Rather, the field of graphology – sometimes called “graphoanalysis”—relies exclusively on using handwriting to attempt to interpret the personality and character of a person. They cannot authenticate documents or offer up any advice on the authenticity of a document that would hold up in a court of law. And, in fact, there have been some legal cases in which the use of a graphologist has been disallowed. This includes a case involving an insurance company in 2006 in which lawyers used a graphologist instead of a document examiner to build their case. In the end, the judge ruled that the graphologist was unqualified to “testify in this case as an expert in the field of handwriting analysis and document examination.”

Why put yourself through the trouble of calling on a graphologist who cannot face the scrutiny of qualifying in a court of law when what you really need is a well-trained forensic document examiner to investigate and determine the true history of a disputed document? Drexler Document Lab can offer you the comprehensive document examination, verification and authentication services you are looking for and. Call us at 844-373-9522 today to learn more about our services.

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