Free US Law DictionaryBETA
The English word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," derived via Italian contrabando from Latin contra "against" + Middle Latin bannum (from Frankish root ban "a command", as in Italian bando 'law'; also the root of 'banishment'), denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed, sold et cetera.
However the term is also commonly and in legal language used for goods that by their nature, e.g. too dangerous or offensive in the eyes of the legislator (those are termed contraband in se) are forbidden, and for so-called derivative contrabande, i.e. goods that may normally be owned but are liable to be seized because they were used in committing an unlawful act and hence begot illegally, such as:
- smuggler goods
- stolen goods - knowingly participating in their trade is an offense in itself, called fencing
- the fruits of fraud, forgery etc.