Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French contrevenir, from Late Latin contravenire, from Latin contra- + venire to come
- 1: to go or act contrary to : violate <contravene a law>
- 2: to oppose in argument : contradict <contravene a proposition>
In many civil law countries (e.g.: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain etc.) contravention is a less serious crime, similar to misdemeanor in common law countries. The term is also used in Australian law. The act of contravening can be: opposition; obstruction; transgression; violation.
Contravention is, in French law, an act which violates the law, a treaty or an agreement which the party has made. It designates a minor infraction only, as opposed to a délit and a crime. Any infraction to a law or regulation (enforced by the executive agents of the State), that is not punishable by more than a 3000€ fine for a person, is classed as a contravention. The fine may also be matched with an additional sentence (peines complémentaires).