Handwriting experts are not needed to testify about the analysis of handwriting samples.
If a witness can testify that he or she can identify a person’s handwriting to a reasonable standard of reliability, it is admissible as evidence even without an expert.
A Non-Expert Witness Perform Handwriting Analysis in Court
In United States v Harris, 786 F3d 443 (6th Cir. May 13, 2015), the court issued an opinion on an issue it had never decided before. The issue was whether a lay person’s opinion about the defendant’s handwriting is admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. A jury convicted Mr. Harris of mailing a threatening letter to Congressperson Candice Miller. At his trial, an FBI agent who investigated the crime, a former neighbor that had received letters from Mr. Harris, and a postal worker who had delivered letters sent by Mr. Harris all testified that they recognized Harris’ handwriting. The court indicated that none of those people were handwriting experts. Still, the testimony would be allowed because they demonstrated sufficient familiarity with Mr. Harris’ handwriting and had not gotten the familiarity for litigation reasons. The bottom line is that a layperson can perform handwriting analysis in court if familiar with the individual’s handwriting.
Defense attorneys who are passionate, creative, and cutting edge.
It is extraordinary that after so many years, the issue of a non-expert’s analysis of handwriting samples has not come up before in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. But it has not. A crafty prosecutor came up with this idea, and the judges agreed with it. Because trial court judges bend over backward to help prosecutors, you need a proficient criminal defense lawyer in your corner.
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are the people you want on your side. Prosecutors do not like to see our attorneys walk into a courtroom because they know they are there to win. Prosecutors are used to dealing with attorneys who routinely manipulate their clients to enter guilty pleas and move on to the next case. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. does not believe in guilty pleas just for the sake of a guilty plea. Our attorneys ensure that no stone is left unturned and that they provide the best, most effective, passionate, and creative defense on the client’s behalf. Do not let a cocky prosecutor run circles around you and your attorney if you face criminal trouble. Instead, let the attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. do the running.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.