While I do not practice in your State, and would recommend seeking counsel in your State, pleading No Contest is merely acknoweldging that the State has enough evidence to convict you without you pleading guilty. Unfortunately, in terms of your record, it has the same effect. Many states do not consider DUI's to be misdemeanor's. You should consult with a local attorney to find out how it would appear on your record.
Best of luck!
Adam S. Malamut, Esq.
Most states treat a no contest plea as a guilty plea. The advantage of doing one in CA anyway is that a no contest plea cannot be used against you in civil proceedings whereas a guilty plea can. This could be important if whatever you pled to involved damages beyond ordinary restitution.
Sorry you are receiving answers from attorneys who are not licesned in Georgia and lack the background to properly advise you. In Georgia, DUI is a crime and it is a misdemeanor offense. The fact that you pled Nolo Contendere or "no contest" does not change the fact that you were convicted of DUI. The "no contest" plea does not prevent you from being convicted. In fact, the only benefit to a no contest plea comes in a civil forum in the event you were sued for damages resulting from the DUI arrest.
To answer your question, pleading "No Lo" to a first DUI is still considered a guilty conviction. While pleading "No Lo" is essentially not admitting guilt, it does subject you to conviction.
Unfortunately, when responding to your applications, you should state you have been convicted of a DUI because under Georgia law, you have been.