The England international found himself charged with affray following an altercation in a Southport bar after the Reds' 5-1 victory over Newcastle in December last year.
Gerrard, who insisted he was acting in self-defence during the incident, was found not guilty at Liverpool Crown Court and the judge told him he could walk away with his reputation intact.
But the events of that night and the following police investigation and court case have clearly left their mark on the talismanic midfielder.
"The trial changed me. I had to learn from it, learn from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What hour I am out, where I go out, I will be more careful in future," he told the Daily Mail.
Sacrifices"From now on, if we win 5-1, if I score two goals and we go top of the league, I won't try to enjoy it in a bar with my mates anymore. I'll go for a meal and be in my house by half past ten. We get paid very well and there have to be sacrifices.
"Throughout the trial I kept telling myself that whatever happened I would never be back in one of these rooms again. It was not a pleasant place to be, the whole experience was very frightening and intimidating.
"I have never been through anything like it. I kept thinking of my team-mates away in Thailand playing football, and me being so far from where I should be.
"You have to be able to let your hair down like anyone else but I have always tried to treat people as they treat me. I think I have had respect because I give respect back.
"There have been very few instances when I have had problems, but I will think about my spare time, even my holiday time, more carefully now. I reckon I have another six years as a professional footballer. It is not so long to make those choices."
Empty spaceGerrard's burning ambition on the field remains to end Liverpool's 20-year wait for the league title, despite having enjoyed continental and domestic cup success.
And while the Anfield favourite has no intention to leave the only club he has ever played for, he accepts that if he did ever move on and taste Premier League glory elsewhere, it would not be as sweet.
He admitted: "If I never won the league title, there would be regrets and an empty space, I admit it.
"Yet even if Liverpool were no longer challenging I would still find it difficult to leave. I could win 90 per cent of my medals here and one league championship elsewhere and that last medal would not mean as much.
"I've been part of this club since I was eight. I remember my first final, the Worthington Cup against Birmingham City in Cardiff. Swarms of people around the coach, me looking out at their faces.
"It was at that moment I felt I was part of something more than a football team. I would have been one of them, but I was just better at kicking a ball. That could have been me standing on the street. I felt responsible. I still do."