I have three vehicles, a XC90, a MINI Cooper S and an old Land Rover Discovery. Only the Volvo has a front plate. The MINI was an Arizona car and never had the front plate installed and I'm not going to drill holes in the bumper. The rover's plate got ripped off on some trail somewhere.
In California for 5 years, I have never been stopped for missing front plates.
The rover scored me a pretty expensive ticket combo in MD one early morning going to BWI. 8 over and missing front plate.
A missing front plate is probably not going to get you pulled over, but it's what my lawyer buddy says is "probable cause". Say you are seen leaving a bar, you drive perfectly but are missing a front plate. Cop now has probable cause to pull you over and get real personal with you. You had one drink and are under the legal limit but you can't walk the line (because of an inner ear problem). Now you get charged with a dwi because you gave the cop the opportunity to pull you over.
It's a risk you take when you intentionally draw attention to yourself. I don't worry about the MINI because it's my wife's car and she's an ER nurse. Some of the stories those nurses tell about the shenanigans they get out of are amazing. The Land Rover is a camping, haul stuff vehicle and gets driven less than 2000 miles a year.
Agree it won't get you pulled over unless the officer is looking for PC. However, after several years with no front plate I found a ticket for no front plate on my car, parked on the side of the road. It's a fix-it ticket. You put a front plate on (simple if you have it, but if you don't you need to order new front and back plates from the DMV b/c they don't issue just one) and have any police officer sign it off, then send the signed-off ticket in with $10 and you're done. Some people then remove the front. I left mine on.