IOWA DIVISION OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
QUESTIONED DOCUMENT SECTION
- Use transparent covers for documentary evidence,
if possible. (Manila envelopes O.K.)
- Use covers or envelopes for storage and transportation
of documents. These should be sufficiently large to hold the document without
- Use gloves or forceps to place documents in protective covers. Do not hold document with fingers.
- Photocopies and photographs of documents may be
made without damaging documents.
- Keep documents away from excessive heat, light or
- Keep record of chain of evidence.
- In general, handle documentary evidence as little
BE CAREFUL!! BE CAREFUL!! BE CAREFUL!!
- Do not use pins, staples, clips or tape on documents.
- Do not make perforations in documents.
- Do not make any new folds in documents. If it is necessary to unfold or open a document for inspection, remember how it was folded (This may be important later). Once unfolded, keep open if practical, in proper size envelope.
- Do not dust document with fingerprint powder. Documents can be photographed and chemically processed in the laboratory.
- Do not write or otherwise mark on documents. Small identifying marks may be made on the back bottom corner. Description of the matter should be written on separate sheet of paper.
- If any writing is to be made on protective cover, it should be done before document is inserted.
- Do not touch document with a pencil, pen or other pointed instrument.
- If you have a jig-saw puzzle of torn pieces of document, DO NOT paste or tape them together. Send pieces into the document examiner for a reconstruction and she/he will photograph (or photocopy) the results for you.
- Do not make any erasures on document.
- Do not trace over questioned document.
- Do not tear document or make unnecessary repairs.
- Do not underscore or encircle words on questioned documents documents. If notes are necessary, make a photocopy band place notations on photocopy.
- Do not carry disputed documents loosely in the pocket.
- Do not allow handling of unprotected document by ANYONE. Show others only a photograph or photocopy.