While some alterations are subtle and require a thorough examination to detect, others are quite visible to the naked eye. Perhaps the most common example of a visible alteration is the use of opaquing substances such as Wite-Out fluid and tapes. While easy to detect, these alterations pose an interesting challenge in that you must determine what was changed while still preserving evidence of the alteration.

Time for a demonstration – let’s take for example the following lease agreement:

Wite-Out Entries

The evidence includes alterations using both tape and fluid opaquing substances. In this demonstration, the question posed is what the original amount for the rent and pet fees are below the opaquing substances.

While it may be tempting to attempt to remove the opaquing substances to see what is underneath, it is important to preserve the evidence as is and use non-destructive techniques. Using specific light and filter combinations, we are able to examine the document non-destructively. Use the slider on the image below to see how the evidence looks under infrared light.

Wite-Out EntriesInfrared

Upon examination, it is clear that the rent was altered from $1000 to $800 and that the pet fee was altered from $50 to $25. As you can see, we are able to provide indisputable evidence as to the nature of the alteration that was made while still preserving the document for evidentiary purposes.

If you have a document that has been altered with an opaquing substance, contact us for more information on how we can assist.