Has anyone used DPS for this in a case and could you let us know how it went? How long did it take from the submission time to getting a result and were the results conclusive for your particular case?
Any insight would be appreciated.
I don't know about DPS but Glenn Lawrence the Investigator for the 259th District Attorney is as good as you can find anywhere and He will do get it done when you need it.
We have several investigators who are also great, but that isn't going to cut it now, right?
In the past I did use DPS, but I never got a result other than "inconclusive", so I moved on to private experts.
Handwriting evidence is sort of like the polygraph. Not particularly useful in court; very helpful when it gets a defendant to admit his guilt.
I'm trying to find a good expert now with little success.
I gave Glenn Lawrence name in the first post and you might not be interested in him but FYI.
Glenn was the Question Documents / Finger Print Officer for Abilene Police Dept. for over 25 years, has the FBI training, and has testified as an expert many times. When he retired he went to work as the DA investigator for Jones County. He will charge for his work but the fee has been reasonable whe he did work for us.
We are no longer allowed to use the testimony of ANY DA Investigator - unless I'm reading something wrong.
Not that we even have an investigator right now, but why can't you use one anymore?
I had similar experiences. I used DPS but for various reasons the results were inconclusive. The report did say that "there are indications that the defendant is not the person who wrote on the questioned document." When I asked for clarification it was explained that the phrase was a weak way of saying "there are a few differences but we can't say what those differences mean."
I did a little digging into this issue and wanted to report some of the findings.
The accreditation for handwriting analysis has actually been in place since 2003 (as "questioned documents"). This is not a change in the law.
As of today, the only accredited experts right now are from the HPD Crime Lab in Houston and the DPS Crime Lab in Austin. HPD charges a fee, while DPS is free. DPS currently has 3 accredited experts in Austin, with two more coming on board by the end of the year. DPS wants to put more accredited experts in their field offices, but that may be contingent on future funding.
If an agency or an employee of an agency seeks accreditation, it customarily takes one to two years before accreditation is granted. Preliminary accreditation (permitting an expert to testify) could be achieved in as little as 6-9 months but is more expensive in the short term.
I hope that helps answer some of the questions on this thread.
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