17. Except in the case of a subsequent offence within two years, no penal proceeding may be instituted under this Act or the regulations hereunder unless the person authorized to institute it has sent to the offender prior notice by mail describing the offence and specifying the minimum fine, the amount of the costs and the place where the payment must be made within ten days following the notice.
The payment of the sum required within the delay fixed by the notice precludes the penal proceeding.
After this payment, the accused must be considered to have been found guilty of the offence.
However, this payment cannot be put forward as an admission of civil liability.
Failure to receive the notice required by this section cannot be put forward against a proceeding for an offence and it is not necessary to allege that it has been sent nor to prove it. But if the accused, at his appearance, admits he is guilty and then proves that he did not receive this notice, he cannot be condemned to pay a higher sum than that he would have been required to pay by virtue of this notice.
The amount of the costs provided for in the first paragraph is determined by regulation of the Government. Sections 12.1 and 12.2 do not apply to this regulation.
Such regulation comes into force on the day of its publication in the Gazette officielle du Québec, or on any later date fixed therein.