Contravention Definition

Contravention is called the act and the result of contravening: acting against what is established or mandatory. In the field of law, a violation is an unlawful conduct that is punishable by law.

When a person commits a contravention, his conduct puts a legal right at risk. It is a minor offense that, for this reason, is not classified as a crime, although it is punishable in any case.

For this same reason, the penalties applied to those responsible for contraventions are lower than those applied to those who commit crimes. It is usual that it is a pecuniary punishment (such as a fine) or the deprivation of some right, but not a punishment that deprives the offender of his freedom.

According to, the characteristics of the contravention may vary according to the legislation. Crossing a red light, for example, is an action that is usually considered a violation. Whoever incurs in this practice is fined. It can also be a traffic violation on a motorcycle without a helmet or driving a car without using a seat belt.

It is important to point out that the fine is not an amount of money that dissolves, so to speak, once it reaches the hands of the authorities; On the contrary, it should be used for social promotion, education or health programs, among other initiatives that advocate for the development of the community.

Let’s see some of the penalties that the authorities apply to those who commit a violation, beyond fines:

* warning: it is a call for attention that the judge carries out in private to the offender;

* guarantee not to offend: the person who commits the offense must deposit in the bank an amount of money established according to the case, which remains in a government account for a certain period of time as a “guarantee” that he will not violate the law again. After this period of time, which usually does not exceed six months, the money returns to its owner, unless he has committed another contravention;

* reparation: it is based on the same criteria that apply to the fine, and consists of the payment that the offender makes to the affected person to compensate him for the damage to which he has subjected him;

* prohibition of attendance: the person who has committed the offense can no longer approach the place where he committed the offense, among others determined by the judge.

In the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina), to cite a specific locality, street harassment is considered a contravention and those responsible can be fined or sentenced to community work. Street harassment is understood as making comments of a sexual nature or obscene gestures on public roads or in private places of public access; to exhibitionism; to non-consensual or inappropriate physical contact; and to record photos and videos of a person without their consent, provided that all these conducts do not constitute a crime.

Upon reporting an alleged violation, police personnel must check or verify its existence, after which they must proceed to draw up the relevant record and record all the details of the procedure, such as the evidence and the personal information of the participants, with their corresponding signatures.

The record made by the police officers is sent to the body in charge of dealing with the violations, and once in its facilities it is labeled to start the file that will then be investigated by the assigned prosecutor, in accordance with the police station that has intervened.. This is how the origin of a contraventional process takes place.