The 3rd season ended with the death of agent Stahl and the Sons minus a few members like Opie, are sent to prison for 14 long months during which time some changes take place in Charming. Things are mostly peace for the Sons who are free as they lay low and Gemma helps Tara adjust to taking care of the two boys. On their return to Charming the SONs encounter a new sheriff Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) and an Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) who set up a secret task force to shut down the club’s gunrunning operation. Opie and Lyla get married in a ceremony on an Indian reservation, while the Sons sever their ties to the Russian Mob. Jax proposes to Tara and reveals his desire to leave the Sons of Anarchy. The Sons meet with Gallindo drug cartel representative Romeo Parada (Danny Trejo) to make a deal, which includes transporting cocaine. Jax and Clay devise a pact that ensures both their individual endgames. Meanwhile, the Russians retaliate against SAMCRO. Gemma tries to find where Tara has hidden John’s love letters. As Roosevelt shows his teeth to SAMCRO, Tara proves her usefulness to the club.
Jax and other members of the club have to do some fieldwork when Kozik inadvertently lets a truck full of weapons get stolen. Clay attempts to sway Bobby’s support for the deal with the drug cartel, while Gemma confronts Tara about the existence of John Teller’s letters. Juice finds his position endangered when Roosevelt reveals he knows Juice is half-black – a revelation that would get him expelled from SAMCRO. The cartel deal is approved by a narrow 6-5 vote, with Clay, Jax, Tig, Opie, Miles and Kozik voting ‘yea’ and Chibs, Piney, Happy, Bobby and Juice voting ‘nay.’ SAMCRO makes a run to set up a new business venture with their Tucson charter, SAMTAZ while Gemma makes a new ally in town with Police Chief Roosevelt’s wife, Rita (Merle Dandridge). Potter drives a wedge between Otto and the sons. After Police Chief Roosevelt threatens to tell SAMCRO of Juice’s family ancestry, Juice is forced to take a sample of the cocaine that SAMCRO is transporting for the Gallindo drug cartel. Meanwhile, after Piney threatens to expose John’s love letters to the club if Clay doesn’t shut down their dealings with the cartel, Gemma and Clay scramble to find where Tara has hidden them, with Unser caught in the middle. After Otto demands the club do something about Luann’s unsolved murder, Jax and the others hunt down Georgie Caruso. Juice’s act of thievery leaves SAMCRO in a delicate situation that puts its prospects to the test. Clay asks Romeo for help to kill Tara. Ima’s presence in the club push Opie and Jax. Unser makes a move against Clay to protect Tara.
As the Sons set up their business in one of Alvarez’s drug labs, the club endures difficult situations with both Tara’s death threat letter and an attack against the Mayans. Bobby, unhappy with the ongoing events, calls a vote for a new president. Juice is cornered by Linc Potter’s scheme and makes a desperate move. Juice’s plan doesn’t work out. The club vote for a new president is put on hold when rivals of the The Gallindo drug cartel bring their issues to SAMCRO’s front door. Tara makes a decision about her future, to protect her family. Clay makes a drastic move to protect himself. The Niners have made a new alliance that affects SAMCRO’s agenda. Gemma and Unser see the fallout from Clay’s actions. Tara plans a trip to Oregon to clear her head, with Jax deciding to escort her up. The Gallindo Cartel gives Clay a means to take out Tara once and for all. Jax and Tara discover the peaceful possibilities of life outside of SAMCRO, but the harsh reality of their inability to leave the rest of the group behind quickly makes itself known to the two of them. Tensions between Gemma and Clay finally boil over. As Potter puts a deal on the table for Juice, Roosevelt tries to do Juice a favor. SAMCRO is in jeopardy of being muscled out of their own business when a formidable adversary arrives and quickly manages to pose a threat to their already fragile business relations with the Cartel. Meanwhile, Jax confronts Clay over his mother’s beating. Tara’s emotional state worsens as Wendy returns, wanting to be a part of Abel’s life. As Juice finally makes some of his racial fear known to the club, Otto makes a deal with Potter. Frequently being cut out of Clay’s plans, Tig resigns as Sergeant-at-Arms.
SAMCRO negotiates with the Irish Kings to secure the club’s future. Jax confronts Wendy over her return to Charming. Clay tries to make a deal with Tara. Meanwhile, Otto’s deal with Potter goes through, much to Bobby’s dismay. Opie’s trust in Jax and the club is broken as he seeks revenge. On Gemma’s request, Unser tries to undo the damage he’s done. In the aftermath of Clay’s shooting, Jax’s cover up puts Tig on the hunt and Laroy in danger. While on the verge of the Irish/Cartel meeting, Juice and Bobby’s disappearance puts the club on edge. Gemma reveals family history in an attempt to pull Jax closer, while Tara makes certain of her family’s departure from Charming. History repeats itself when Jax’s future in Charming and with the MC is finally determined. Potter’s RICO case takes an unusual turn when the Gallindo Cartel reveals its true intentions. The vote is made on Hale’s Charming Heights proposition. SAMCRO makes a shift in its members’ rank as Jax takes over as President and making Bobby his VP with Chibbs as his Sergeant-at-Arms.