Create a legend. The sketch legend explains all symbols, numbers, or letters
used to identify objects on the sketch.
Military symbols are used where
Indicate compass direction.
indicated by an arrow and the letter "N."
Indicate the scale.
The scale designation should show the scale of the
drawing. For rough sketches, indicate "Not Drawn to Scale."
Create a title block.
The name of the subject or suspect must not be
included. The following information should be listed:
Offense or incident.
Name and rank of victim.
Time and date sketch began.
Name and rank of person who drew the sketch.
Name and rank of person who verified the sketch (witness).
See Figure 1-5 for an example.
It is important that measurements shown on the sketch be as accurate as possible.
They should also be made and recorded uniformly.
If one aspect of the sketch is
accurate and another is not, the distortion renders the sketch relatively useless.
It is important that the distances of an item in the sketch be measured in the same
manner. For example, one coordinate leg to the victim should not be paced and the
other measured with a tape measure. It is also a mistake to pace off a distance
and then show it on the sketch in terms of feet and inches.
implies a far greater degree of accuracy than the measurement techniques could
possibly produce. If the point arose in court, such imprecision could detract from
the value of the sketch.
The two basic kinds of sketches are the rough sketch and the finished
sketch (scaled drawing).
Both types of sketches contain the same general
information, but differ according to the technique of presenting the information.
They are presented below.
The rough sketch is the one drawn by the investigator at the scene of the
Changes should not be made in the sketch after the investigator has
left the scene.
The sketch will normally not be drawn to scale, but will
indicate accurate distances, dimensions, and relative proportions.
to eliminate excessive details in one sketch, it may be necessary to draw more
than one sketch.
For example, one sketch may be devoted to the position of
the body and one or two of the more critical items of evidence.
sketches might depict the position of evidence with respect to the point of
Any paper may be used in constructing the rough sketch; however,
plain, unlined paper or graph paper is best.
It can be placed on a clipboard