Sons of Anarchy saw the rise and fall of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) as President of the title club, and throughout that journey, he went to jail a couple of times and for different reasons. Created by Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy took the audience into the world of motorcycle clubs to see the conflicts that arise not only with other clubs but also among the members of it. Leading the audience through the highs and lows of SAMCRO is Jackson “Jax” Teller, the VP of the Sons of Anarchy club at the beginning of the series and the son of John “JT” Teller, one of the club’s founding members who was killed when Jax was very young.
The events of Sons of Anarchy kick off when Jax finds JT’s manifesto, in which he shared his vision and plans for the club, and these were very different from those of the club’s current President (and Jax’s stepfather), Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). This creates conflict within Jax and triggers a series of problems for him and the club, as well as with other groups and in his family, as well. However, Jax went to lengths to keep his family and SAMCRO safe, so much so that he made a couple of dangerous deals over the course of Sons of Anarchy, of which some included spending some time in jail – and here’s every time Jax Teller went to jail in Sons of Anarchy and why.
A Deal With June Stahl
One of the biggest and most memorable villains in Sons of Anarchy was June Stahl (Ally Walker), an agent of the ATF who made her first appearance in the first season of the show. Stahl served as an antagonist throughout the first three seasons of Sons of Anarchy, and she was indirectly responsible for some of the most heartbreaking moments of the series. Stahl arrived in Charming after being called by Deputy Chief David Hale (Taylor Sheridan) to help him bring down SAMCRO and their arms trafficking business. Stahl’s hatred for SAMCRO grew after being beaten by Otto (Sutter), and she tried to recruit Opie Winston (Ryan Hurst) and trick him into ratting on SAMCRO, but she was unsuccessful. However, Clay believed Opie had betrayed the club and ordered Tig Trager (Kim Coates) to kill him, but a last-minute change led to the accidental murder of Opie’s wife, Donna.
That was only the beginning of Stahl’s many plans to destroy SAMCRO, and she continued trying to pit the club’s members against each other and get at least one of them to either rat on the club or give her the information she desperately wanted. By the time of the events in Sons of Anarchy season 3, Stahl was demoted from the IRA case by the ATF and was desperate to prove that she could handle the case. Following a failed deal with Jax’s mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal), in which she tricked the club’s matriarch, Jax made an off-the-record deal with her: he would give her the True IRA, which is what she was looking for, if she pushed back their upcoming bail hearing, reduced time on their gun charges, and recanted her statement against Gemma, thus saving her from going to jail.
Stahl was true to her word as she pushed SAMCRO’s bail hearing by 10 days so they could travel to Belfast and rescue Jax’s son and she changed her testimony in order to free Gemma – but she once more proved to be unreliable when she exposed her deal with Jax to the club in hopes that they would kill him for treason, and so Jax (and others) was sent to prison, though with a reduced sentence. However, Jax and the club were many steps ahead of Stahl, and they were all in on the plan, which allowed them to set Stahl up and finally kill her, with Opie being the one who pulled the trigger. Jax and company were released from prison at the beginning of season 4, and he was sporting scars on his abdomen as a result of an incident with the Russian mob.
Damon Pope’s Revenge
The Sons of Anarchy club members earned a new enemy in season 4: Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau). After Opie attacked Clay in retaliation for the murder of his father, Piney, Clay told Tig that the One-Niner’s leader was responsible for the attack, and so Tig, as impulsive as ever, went after him. Tig failed to kill the Niners’ leader but killed his girlfriend, Veronica Pope, who turned out to be the daughter of Damon Pope, a drug kingpin and the most dangerous and powerful gangster in Oakland. Of course, Pope had a series of revenge acts planned against SAMCRO, including burning Tig’s daughter, Dawn, alive in front of him.
Pope’s multi-retaliation for Veronica’s death continued with telling Jax he would take half of SAMCRO’s earnings from running coke for the cartel and that he wanted to keep Tig in prison to make him suffer, but he also demanded the death of a SAMCRO member. This meant sending Tig and other SAMCRO members to prison, and once one of them was dead, Pope would pay his witnesses to recant their statements and let the remaining Sons (except Tig) out. Jax, Chibs (Tommy Flanagan), and Tig were arrested, but Opie joined them in prison as he got himself arrested after assaulting Roosevelt, and he ended up sacrificing himself in jail so his brothers could be freed.
Deal With Patterson & Suspicion For Tara’s Murder
In Sons of Anarchy season 6, Jax’s wife, Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff), was accused of conspiracy to kill nurse Pamela Toric, who was brutally murdered by Otto in prison, right in front of Tara. Overseeing this and other SAMCRO-related cases was Tyne Patterson (CCH Pounder), the San Joaquin County District Attorney who offered Tara immunity in exchange for ratting on Jax, but she refused. Jax ended up coming to her to make a deal: he would give up Irish King Galen O’Shay in exchange for immunity for the club and Tara being cleared of all charges. Jax actually tricked Patterson and instead set everything up to kill Clay and O’Shay, making it look as if they had killed each other, thus voiding Patterson’s deal with SAMCRO.
Jax insisted that he held up his end of the bargain, but he ended up offering her a new deal: he would turn himself in as the KG-9 source if Tara could be free and he could spend one last day with his sons. Patterson agreed, but when she went to pick Jax up, he found him holding Tara’s dead body, in a pool of blood, next to Roosevelt’s corpse, wailing in agony. Jax was taken to jail not only as part of the deal with Patterson but also as he immediately became a suspect in Tara and Roosevelt’s deaths.