372. Until 31 October 1993, the following provisions apply to proceedings governed by this Code: (1) Any person may lay an information unless the law constituting the offence requires a special authorization.
The informant must have reasonable grounds to believe that the offence in respect of which he laid the information has been committed.
(2) The information shall be laid in writing and shall contain no reference to any previous conviction.
(3) Unless otherwise provided by law, the information must be laid
(a) within two years from the date of commission of the offence where, by law, the fine belongs solely to the State;
(b) by a prosecutor other than the Attorney General, within one year from the date of commission of the offence, where, by law, the fine belongs to the State or to another prosecutor;
(c) by the Attorney General within two years from expiration of the period prescribed in subparagraph b, where, by law, the fine belongs to the State or to another prosecutor and the latter did not lay the information within the prescribed time.
(4) The information shall be laid before a judge. The judge shall hear the allegations of the prosecutor and may hear the evidence, under oath, of any witnesses and shall have, for that purpose, the power to procure the attendance of witnesses and to compel them to testify, in accordance with the provisions of this Code.
The judge shall issue a summons if he has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed.
(5) The summons shall not be signed in blank.
It shall be served upon the defendant and shall require him to appear at the time and place specified therein.
Except in case of a parking offence, a copy of a summons addressed to a person under 18 years of age shall be served on his parents.
(6) An information may, should the prosecutor so choose, be heard, tried and adjudged in the judicial district where the defendant
(a) allegedly committed the offence, according to the information;
(b) has his residence or has its head office or one of its places of business;
(c) is in detention, where such is the case.
Such information may also, with the consent of the defendant, be heard, tried and adjudged in any other judicial district.
(7) The notice of summons or infraction or the summons issued under articles 1129b and 1140 of the Charter of the city of Montréal (1959-1960, chapter 102), article 546b of the Charter of the city of Québec (1929, chapter 25) or paragraph 17 of section 426 of the Cities and Towns Act (Revised Statutes, 1964, chapter 193), as replaced for Ville de Hull, has the same value and effect as evidence given under oath by the person who has witnessed the commission of the offence alleged on the notice of summons or infraction or the summons.
(8) In no case shall a greater penalty be imposed upon a defendant by reason of a previous conviction unless the prosecutor notified him, before the plea was made, that a greater penalty would be sought by reason of the previous conviction.
Proof of a previous conviction and of the transmission of the notice is incumbent upon the prosecutor, and shall not be brought forth until after the defendant is convicted.
(9) The collector shall remit part of the costs to the prosecutor who has borne expenses related to the prosecution to the extent prescribed by regulation.
The Government may, by regulation, determine the costs which may be remitted to the prosecutor under the first paragraph.
(10) Where it is alleged that the defendant has not complied with his obligation, under an Act, to hold a certificate, licence, permit or any other authorization required by the Act, it shall be incumbent upon the defendant to establish that he is the holder of such a certificate, licence, permit or other authorization.
(11) A judge having jurisdiction to issue a search warrant under Chapter III of this Code has jurisdiction to exercise the powers conferred on a judge in paragraphs 12 and 13 of this article.
(12) The clerk or any other person whom the judge designates after receiving a written application therefor shall have custody of the thing seized pursuant to a search warrant or telewarrant. However, where a seizure was made without a warrant, the seizor shall have custody of the thing he has seized until such time as it is produced as evidence in proceedings or disposed of according to law.
(13) A thing seized during a search shall not be detained for a period exceeding 90 days, unless an information following the seizure is laid prior to the expiry of such period. However, the judge may order that the detention period be extended for not more than 90 days.
If no information is laid prior to the expiry of the period prescribed in the first paragraph or as soon as it becomes no longer necessary to detain the seized thing, the judge, upon application to him therefor in writing, shall order that the thing be returned to the person entitled thereto or, as the case may be, order that it be forfeited. If no application is made within the ensuing 24 months, the thing seized shall be forfeited pleno jure.
An order for the disposal or forfeiture of the thing seized shall not be executory until 30 days after such order was made, except where the parties renounce that period.