Is a DUI considered a crime if I pled nolo to the case?
The phrase "nolo contendere" means "I do not wish to contest". Pleading nolo is the same as a guilty plea. In other words, a "no contest" plea results in a criminal conviction. Basically, when you plead "no contest", you are not technically admitting guilt but you are still allowing the court to determine punishment.
The benefit of entering a "no contest" plea instead of a guilty plea has to do with any civil case that may follow. When a person pleads "no contest", that plea cannot be used against them as an admission of guilt if a civil proceeding arises out of the same conduct from which the criminal case was based. So for example, if you were drunk and hit and killed someone, their family may still sue you in civil court but they could not use any the details of the criminal proceedings against you.