“There are essentially three levels of police-citizen encounters.” The first level is “a consensual encounter [which] involves only minimal police contact;” the second level is “an investigatory stop as enunciated in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968);” and the third level is “an arrest which must be supported by probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed.” Popple v State, 626 So. 2d 185 (Fla. 1993).
The Florida Supreme Court in Melton v. State, 75 So. 2d 291 (Fla. 1954) held that “It is uniformly held that an arrest, in the technical  and restricted sense of the criminal law, is “the apprehension or taking into custody of an alleged offender, in order that he may be brought into the proper court to answer for a crime.” Cornelius, Search and Seizures, 2nd ed., Sec. 47. When used in this sense, an arrest involves the following elements: (1) A purpose or intention to effect an arrest under a real or pretended authority; (2) An actual or constructive seizure or detention of the person to be arrested by a person having present power to control the person arrested; (3) A communication by the arresting officer to the person whose arrest is sought, of an intention or purpose then and there to effect an arrest; and (4) An understanding by the person whose arrest is sought that it is the intention of the arresting officer then and there to arrest and detain him.” Cornelius, Search and Seizure, 2nd ed., Sec. 47; 6 C.J.S., Arrest, § 1.
The Office put me in handcuffs, doesn’t that mean that I was arrested?
The use of handcuffs does not automatically turn an investigatory stop into a de facto arrest. Reynolds v. State, 592 So. 2d 1082, 1084 (Fla. 1992)(The determinative factor is not the officer’s belief, but what the objective facts present to a reasonable officer. The test for evaluating an officer’s acts based on concern for safety is not the officer’s subjective thoughts, but the rational inferences that a reasonably prudent person would draw under the circumstances. Studemire v. State, 955 So. 2d 1256 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007)