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Le domaine de l’expertise en écriture et documents est souvent mal connu.
Cette page a pour but de répondre aux questions que chacun peut se poser.

Qu'est-ce qu'une expertise en écriture et documents ?

Expertise en écriture et graphologie, quelle différence ?


Beaucoup de personnes, y compris certains magistrats et avocats, confondent l’expertise en écriture avec la graphologie. Bien que ces deux disciplines aient un rapport commun avec l’écriture et présentent un intérêt pour la criminalistique, le but et la méthode différent. La graphologie est une science humaine qui vise à dresser le portrait psychologique d’un individu à partir de l’observation de son écriture manuscrite alors que l’expertise en écriture et documents est une technique d’investigation qui consiste à authentifier un texte manuscrit, une signature ou un document.

Une expertise en écriture et document a donc pour but, par des analyses techniques et scientifiques, de mettre en évidence des preuves d’authenticité ou de falsification d’écrits, de signatures ou de divers documents et, éventuellement, d’en déterminer l’auteur. Elle ne se limite pas seulement à l’examen de l’écriture ou de la signature mais également à celui du support. Il existe des expertises judiciaires (civiles et pénales) et des expertises privées (particuliers, entreprises...).

Seule l’expertise en écriture et documents a une place reconnue parmi les sciences forensiques.

Comment se déroule une expertise ?


Une expertise en écriture et documents nécessite un travail d’observation, de comparaison et d’analyse qui requiert une formation spécifique de haut niveau, indissociable de l’utilisation d’un matériel technologique de pointe et d’une méthode rédactionnelle rigoureuse.

L’expert a en sa possession le ou les documents litigieux appelés « pièces de question » ainsi qu’un certain nombre de documents authentiques nommés « pièces de comparaison ».

A l’aide de son matériel, il va procéder à une observation comparative des différents éléments en sa possession selon une méthodologie précise afin de relever des concordances et/ou des discordances : support, encres, particularités graphiques, type d’impression, traces de foulages, caviardages, rajouts, modifications diverses… L’expert va ensuite rédiger un rapport détaillé et illustré de ses investigations (rapport qui doit être clair et précis pour être compréhensible par tous) dans lequel il fera apparaître ses conclusions. Ces dernières dépendront principalement de certains éléments : la qualité des documents fournis (de préférence des documents originaux), leur nature, leur origine, leur nombre ainsi que leur date.

Que peut-on expertiser ?


La grande majorité des expertises concerne l’authentification d’écriture et/ou de signatures sur des documents tels que des testaments, des contrats, des attestations, des chèques, etc. Mais le support peut être également expertisé (papier, carton, mur, tissu, œuvre d’art…).

Quelque soient les moyens utilisés par l’expert, ces derniers sont toujours non destructifs.

Qui peut demander une expertise ?


Tout le monde peut demander une expertise en écriture et documents : tribunaux, services de police ou de gendarmerie, particuliers, personnes morales, associations… (Voir la liste des principaux demandeurs en fin de page).

La valeur juridique d’une expertise en écriture et documents


Une expertise en écriture et documents réalisée par un expert assermenté possède une valeur juridique auprès des tribunaux, même si celle-ci est effectuée dans le cadre d’une consultation privée.

Les délais


Les délais sont variables en fonction de la complexité de l’expertise. En règle générale, un rapport d’expertise est rédigé entre deux et quatre semaines (davantage si les documents sont très nombreux), excepté les cas d’urgence qui sont traités en priorité.

L'expert judiciaire (ou de justice)



Il est également appelé expert en écriture et document. Il ne s’agit pas d’une profession mais plutôt d’une qualification. Un expert judiciaire est en fait un « spécialiste » qui met ses compétences et son expérience au service de la Justice.

L’expert judiciaire est assermenté par une Cour d’Appel, une Cour de Cassation ou un Tribunal Administratif et inscrit sur une liste d’experts. Cet agrément est soumis à une sélection rigoureuse basée non seulement sur des critères techniques et scientifiques mais également sur les prestations réalisées dont la qualité a été reconnue par les magistrats.

Code de déontologie


Un expert se doit d’avoir une rigueur intellectuelle et morale : conscience professionnelle, impartialité, objectivité et respect du secret professionnel.

Une formation spécifique


L’expert en écriture et documents est un technicien ayant une formation spécifique et une connaissance profonde dans les domaines de l’écriture, du papier, des encres… C’est avant tout un observateur.

Les tâches de l’expert sont le plus souvent de déterminer si un document est authentique ou non, mais également d’en découvrir l’auteur comme dans le cas de lettres anonymes.

Comment faciliter le travail de l’expert ?


Chaque dossier est unique et fait l’objet d’une analyse propre. Le travail de l’expert sera facilité si les règles de base suivantes sont respectées :

  • Les documents de question et de comparaison doivent être, dans la mesure du possible, des originaux dont certains officiels (passeport, carte d’identité, acte notarié) certifiant qu’il s’agit bien de la personne concernée.
    Une expertise sur des documents photocopiés et/ou numérisés est aussi réalisable mais les conclusions de l’expert seront assorties de réserves provenant du fait que certaines analyses ne sont pas faisables comme les ultraviolets, les infrarouges ou encore la pression et qu’ils peuvent faire l’objet d’une manipulation informatique.
  • Les documents de comparaison doivent être suffisamment nombreux (en moyenne une dizaine).
  • Ces derniers doivent être contemporains des documents litigieux (environ 5 ans en deçà et au-delà)
  • Les documents doivent être, si possible, de même nature. C’est-à-dire que l’expert doit pouvoir comparer un document administratif avec d’autres documents administratifs, une signature avec d’autres signatures, un chiffre avec d’autres chiffres… Il est évident que ce n’est pas toujours possible.
  • Indiquer si la personne souffrait d’une pathologie quelconque ou de tout autre handicap susceptible de modifier son écriture et/ou sa signature.

Le matériel utilisé par l’expert


L’examen des documents de question nécessite des méthodes d’observation de laboratoire pour détecter les éventuelles altérations (grattages, rajouts, surcharges, gommages, lavages chimiques…).

Chaque expert utilisera le matériel qui lui semble le mieux adapté en fonction des documents à expertiser. Les outils les plus communément utilisés sont : microscopes, caméras, scanners, logiciels de criminalistique, logiciels de mesures, appareils et logiciels permettant un examen multispectral des encres (ultraviolets, infrarouges, lumières rasantes, lumière transmise), laboratoire photographique…

Les honoraires


Les honoraires de l’expert sont fonction de l’importance du dossier, du nombre de documents à expertiser, de la nature et des difficultés de l’expertise. Un devis est toujours établi.

Ecriture et signature



L’analyse de l’expert en écriture et documents est basée sur le principe fondamental que chaque individu possède une écriture qui lui est propre et se différencie donc des autres. L’écriture comprend de multiples caractéristiques individuelles qui, comme les empreintes digitales, permettent d’identifier son auteur.
L’acte d’écrire n’est pas inné. Il est le résultat d’un apprentissage long et complexe qui implique, entre autres, une action musculaire, l’acquisition de réflexes et le cerveau. Chaque personne a un niveau de performance graphique qui lui est propre. Celui-ci peut être élevé, moyen ou faible et peut varier en fonction du moment, de l’endroit, du matériel utilisé ou d’autres circonstances.

Chacun a sa propre manière d’écrire et cette dernière étant en règle générale inconsciente, elle peut difficilement être changée mais peut néanmoins varier avec le temps, les états d’âme ou l’état de santé.

L’expert devra donc déterminer s’il est en présence d’une écriture spontanée, imitée ou déguisée (lettres anonymes) et s’il y a un ou plusieurs scripteurs.

Une imitation ne pourra donc pas reproduire de manière constante les caractéristiques naturelles d’une écriture authentique. Celui qui déguise son écriture reproduira immanquablement, à un moment donné, des gestes réflexes qui lui sont propres.

La signature


La signature provient d’un automatisme plus ou moins évolué et complexe, souvent plus personnalisé que peut l’être l’écriture. En effet, la signature ne fait pas l’objet d’un apprentissage défini, elle est le produit de l’imagination de son titulaire. Elle changera considérablement pendant le temps de sa mise en forme, puis son élaboration va s’automatiser grâce aux réflexes graphiques inconscients qui combinent à la fois vitesse, forme, continuité, dimension ou encore pression. Ensuite elle n’évoluera pratiquement plus mais restera très liée à l’état de santé du scripteur.

De même que personne ne peut reproduire à l’identique ce qu’il a déjà écrit, chaque individu ne peut reproduire exactement deux fois la même signature.

Comme pour l’écriture, l’étude comparative des signatures correspond à un examen individuel bien défini.

Les domaines de compétence

  • Authentification d’écritures et de signatures
  • Testaments olographes
  • Actes sous seing privé (reconnaissance de dettes, contrats divers, emprunts, baux, actes de vente…)
  • Documents bancaires (chèques, lettres de change, reçus…)
  • Falsifications (caviardages, grattages, gommages, lavages chimiques…)
  • Lettres anonymes (recherche d’auteur)
  • Authentification de papier fiduciaire
  • Livres comptables
  • Discrimination des encres
  • Faux en écriture privés (fausses accusations, faux témoignages)
  • Documents d’identité (passeports, cartes d’identité, permis de conduire…)
  • Authentification de timbres humides
  • Etc.

Les principaux demandeurs

  • Magistrats
  • Enquêteurs de police ou gendarmerie
  • Avocats
  • Notaires
  • Détectives privés
  • Compagnies d’assurances
  • Établissements financiers
  • Entreprises, commerces
  • Gestionnaires de patrimoine
  • Associations
  • Particuliers
  • Etc.